MO-- KC Catholic official lies about lawsuit, SNAP says

For immediate release: Sunday, May 31

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, [email protected])

The Kansas City Archdiocese’s school superintendent claims she hasn’t read a copy of a lawsuit against her that was filed at least two weeks ago. We think she’s lying.

The suit was filed in mid-May. In it, a Kansas City Kansas mom charges that Catholic officials falsely accused her of child abuse, ignored bullying against her daughter and then, in retaliation against her, called a state child abuse hotline accusing her of mistreating her own daughter.

According to today’ KC Star, “a spokeswoman provided a response from archdiocesan superintendent of schools Kathy O’Hara, who said no one would be able to comment on the lawsuit because the archdiocese had not yet seen it.”

The suit was disclosed publicly on May 18 by KSHB Channel 4 in Kansas City by reporter Brendaliss Gonzalez.

Among those accused of wrongdoing in the case are O’Hara, a priest, and Maureen Engen, the principal of Sacred Heart Catholic school in Shawnee where the alleged bullying took place.

This mother, Melissa Schroeder, did everything right in this case. She consulted with doctors, got help for her daughter, tried to stop bullying, persisted when school staff took little or no action, went up the “chain of command” in the archdiocese, called police and publicly spoken out against this mistreatment.. We commend her for her courage and compassion and hope she and her family feel some comfort knowing that her lawsuit may shine a bright light on this awful behavior by Catholic church and school officials.

We agree with her attorney, Sarah Brown, who said she should be “praised, not persecuted.”

We hope that anyone who might have seen, suspected or suffered wrongdoing of any kind in the Kansas City archdiocese will speak up. Only by coming forward, calling police, filing lawsuits, exposing misdeeds, and deterring cover ups will kids be safer from bullying and abuse.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected])


MAY 30, 2015

Lawsuit says Kansas archdiocese retaliated against mother who tried to stop bullying\

BY JUDY L. THOMAS. [email protected]

A Shawnee woman is suing the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, alleging that officials lodged a false child abuse complaint with the state against her after she raised concerns about her daughter being bullied at school.

Also named as defendants are Sacred Heart Catholic Church and its school principal.

The lawsuit, filed by Melissa Schroeder this month in Johnson County District Court, alleges  . . .

Read full article here

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