SNAP: New US Supreme Court decision hurts clergy sex victims

Today, the US Supreme Court announced that they will not review the case of John Doe AP versus Roman Catholic Archdiocese of St. Louis. This is a tragedy that will only make kids in Missouri, Utah, and Wisconsin more vulnerable to child molesters and employers from those states more reckless about children’s safety.

We feel it's morally wrong for the St Louis archdiocese officials to use legal technicalities to avoid taking responsibility for letting this known predator hurt more kids.

The loophole Archbishop Carlson is using is that this child molester abused his victim “off premises,” on private property, not church property. Carlson should be ashamed for making this claim.

While this decision will only directly affect Missouri, Utah and Wisconsin, the effects remain chilling.  Employers will have less motivation to protect children by getting rid of child predators. They will escape liability for heinous child sex crimes; even when they let known predators take children whom they have groomed using their position somewhere else and molest them.

Once again, in a case involving the safety of children, top Catholic officials are defending themselves on the technicalities, not on the merits. Again, they’re exploiting every possible legal maneuver to prevent having to face tough questions before jurors in open court about how they deal with sexual misdeeds by clergy.

We commend this brave victim for persisting in his struggle to let the public know just how callous Catholic officials have been and can be regarding the safety of children.

We hope that others will follow his example and that every person who sees, suspects or suffers clergy sex crimes and cover ups will continue coming forward so that children can be protected, predators can be exposed, and healing can begin.

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  • Barbara Dorris
    published this page in Media Statements 2012-03-19 10:35:08 -0500

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