Roster of Press Releases


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Release

Victims blast bishop’s claim

He says one “image” was “described” to one cop

But for months, no actual evidence was given to police

Group to Finn: “Explain why didn’t you investigate yourself”

And oust twice-accused priest who’s still in parish now, SNAP says

That priest was sued months ago for allegedly molesting another child

Victims want public 'question & answer' session with top church staff

WHAT: Holding signs and childhood photos a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will harshly criticize Kansas City’s Catholic bishop for

-- keeping evidence of child porn away from the police for months, and
-- trying to blame “nameless others” for his secrecy in a statement issued on Friday.

Victims will also urge the bishop to
-- hold a public “question and answer” session about the controversy soon, and
-- suspend a different priest, accused twice of sex offenses in recent lawsuits, who is still in a parish now.

They will also beg anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds by any church employee to come forward, call police, get help, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing.

WHEN: Tuesday, May 24 at 1:00 PM

WHERE: Outside the chancery (diocesan headquarters) at20 West Ninth Street, Kansas City, MO

WHO: Two-four clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (

WHY: Late last Friday, KC Bishop Robert Finn issued a statement explaining his actions in keeping hidden – from police, parishioners and the public - the shocking allegations of child porn involving Fr. Shawn Ratigan, who was arrested last week and charged.

Police and court documents show that church staff gave the child porn evidence to a diocesan employee who copied it, gave the computer and the original evidence to the priest’s family who destroyed it. Finn quietly moved Ratigan to a nun’s facility just miles away from the youngsters he apparently violated.

And despite pledge after pledge after pledge – by Finn and his colleagues – to be “open and transparent” about child sex cases, local Catholics were told nothing until the news media reported on Ratigan’s arrest.

Ratigan lived in an apartment in the 3800 block of North Forest Avenue.

In a related matter, two recent child sex abuse and cover up lawsuits implicate Fr. Michael Tierney. According to the first suit, filed last September, Fr. Michael Tierney molested a 13 year old boy in 1971. According to the second suit filed in February, Tierney made lewd comments and “parroted” sexual advances made by two other priests to an 11 year old boy in 1970. Both suits are still pending. A photo of Tierney is available at .

Tierney, however, is still in active ministry, and is currently the pastor at Christ the King parish (8510 Wornall Rd., 816-363-4888, [email protected]). SNAP has urged Finn to suspend Tierney and launch a thorough, independent investigation into the allegations against him. In fact, SNAP feels that by keeping Tierney in his post, Finn is violating the US bishops’ national abuse policy which says that “credibly accused” priests must be suspended.

Attorney Rebecca Randles (816 931 9901, 816 510 2704 [email protected]) represents Tierney’s victims.

David Clohessy, SNAP Executive Director 314 566 9790, [email protected],
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Coordinator 314 862 7688, 314 503 0003 cell, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests