NJ- Catholic bishop loses abuse ruling; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, March 26, 2014 

Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected]) 

A judge has ruled that a lawsuit against a predator priest and his church supervisors may move ahead.


We applaud Lisa Syvertson Shanahan, a courageous child sex abuse victims, for continuing to seek justice and winning this important ruling that will help child sex abuse victims across all of New Jersey. 

Shame on Camden Bishop Dennis Sullivan for trying to hide behind a legal technicality and deny dozens or even hundreds of child sex abuse victims a chance to expose their predators by attacking the constitutionality of New Jersey's statute of limitations law. 

If the bishop thinks that he and his predecessors are innocent – and did not hide or enable the child sex crimes of Fr. Thomas M. Harkins, then let the bishop fight on the merits, not on the technicalities. 

Just once it would be so refreshing to see a Catholic official directly address allegations of hiding child sex crimes, and not duck and dodge, using every self-serving legal maneuver imaginable.

Harkins has recently worked at the Philadelphia airport and may still be there. So it's crucial that anyone else who saw, suspected or suffered his crimes step forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 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 SNAPnetwork.org)

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected]), Mark Crawford (732-632-7687, [email protected])


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