Press Release



Press Release


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release
Giving Voice to Victims


For immediate release:
September 7, 2005

Sex Abuse Victims Want Open Meetings With Spokane Catholic Bishop

Skylstad's Bankruptcy Postpones Healing For All, Group Says

SNAP Urges Top Official To Make Sure Victims Get Help Now

Cites Three Recent Oregon Suicides As Cause For Concern

At a sidewalk news conference, clergy molestation victims will urge Spokane's Catholic Bishop to
-- speed up, not slow down, healing for victims and parishioners,
-- reverse his decision to appeal a recent bankruptcy court ruling, and
-- hold open public meetings across the diocese and take questions from Catholics, and
-- make sure victims get the help they need while his bankruptcy drags on.

TODAY, Wednesday, Sept. 7, noon

Outside the Spokane Diocese headquarters (a.k.a chancery office), 1023 W. Riverside Avenue (at Munroe), in downtown Spokane

Several clergy abuse victims, including a Chicago social worker who is the founder and head of a nation-wide support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

On Aug. 26, a federal judge ruled against Bishop William Skylstad's attempt to re-define his diocese assets. He tried to claim that he doesn't control the church's property and bank accounts.

Skylstad says he'll appeal that ruling. This move, SNAP believes, will only delay healing for both victims and church members.

The group is worried because a nearby diocese that has also chosen bankruptcy has seen three victims take their own lives in the past few months.

They want Skylstad to hold open, public meetings in each of the diocese's deaneries to explain his costly legal strategy and take questions from parishioners.

Skylstad heads the US Conference of Catholic Bishops, which has consistently pledged to be more "open and transparent" about abuse. That's one reason SNAP wants him to "lead the way, leave his ivory tower, ditch his PR staff, and just listen directly to local Catholics."

(The National Catholic Reporter has just editorialized against Skylstad:

Mike Ross of Spokane, Spokane SNAP Co-Coordinator 509 701 4730
Barbara Blaine of Chicago, SNAP Founder and President 312 399 4747 cell
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests