The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

Statement Regarding Maine Court Ruling


May 3, 2005

Maine's highest court today ruled that a clergy sex abuse victim's civil lawsuit against his perpetrator and the Portland Diocese can proceed.

Two responses:

From Paul Kendrick of Portland ME, co-founder of Maine Voice of the Faithful - 207 775 2990

"Beginning in 1989, top Catholic Church diocesan officials, including Bishop Joseph Gerry, Auxiliary Bishop Amadee Proulx and former chancellors Msgr. Michael Henchal and Msgr. Joseph Ford ignored and covered up allegations of sexual abuse against Rev. Raymond Melville, thus placing hundreds of Maine children at risk of abuse, including Michael Fortin whose abuse by Melville continued for at least two more years. Unfortunately, one of the biggest casualties of the sexual abuse crisis in the Catholic Church has been the truth. The truth is all that Michael Fortin has ever been seeking. Thankfully, he will now have his day in court."

From Barbara Dorris of St. Louis MO, SNAP Outreach Coordinator
314 862 7688

"We are grateful that Maine's highest court has the wisdom to give Michael a chance to be heard, which is the least any childhood victim of horrific sex crimes deserves. This could be the church hierarchy's worst nightmare: a victim's opportunity to force church officials to disclose how much they knew and how little they did about a predator priest's crimes. Maine's citizens and Catholics owe Michael a debt of gratitude for his continued courage in exposing not only abusive priests but complicit bishops as well."

For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis, SNAP National Director 314 566 9790


Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests