Roster of Statements


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statement

For immediate release: Thursday, December 2, 2010

MN SNAP director on 2 bishops attacking a survivor

Statement by Bob Schwiderski 952 471 3422 [email protected], MN director of SNAP

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a support group

Two Catholic bishops are using the same mean-spirited legal maneuver here.

Last week, it was Twin Cities Archbishop John Neinstedt seeking $64,000.

This week, it is Winona Bishop John Quinn seeking $68,000.

Both prelates are trying to make the same victim pay church legal defense costs.

Why? We believe it’s because these two bishops want to:
-- deter this victim from pursuing the truth in court
-- force this victim to drop his effort to expose other predator priests, and
-- intimidate other victims into staying silent.

Shame on both bishops. This is a strong case by a credible victim against a proven predator and clearly irresponsible church officials who repeatedly ignored and hid terrible crimes while quietly shuffling the criminal to unsuspecting communities. It’s on appeal. It’s far from over. And we predict this brave victim will ultimately prevail in court.

So to respond to this hurting man in such a cold-hearted way is unbecoming of any spiritual figure. Bishops can’t have it both ways. They can’t in public, claim to care, while in private, showing that they don’t.

A note about Neinstedt: Earlier this week, he claimed he’d “postpone” his drive to collect this money, allegedly because the victim has declared bankruptcy. That’s deceitful. Neinstedt can’t collect this money now anyway; the bankruptcy court is in charge of this victim’s limited funds.

The same holds true of Winona’s Bishop Quinn. Today or tomorrow or the next day, if he claims “Oh, we’re not following through on that move right now,” that’s not enough.

Both bishops should publicly apologize for and explain their callousness.

Both should personally apologize to this victim and his loved ones.

And both should promise they’ll never do this again.

Otherwise, their claims of wanting child sex abuse victims to come forward will continue to ring hollow.

And otherwise, people who see, suspect or suffer child sex crimes will continue to be silent. And kids will continue to be sexually assaulted by clerics. And those crimes will continue to be concealed by Catholic officials.

Bob Schwiderski 952 471 3422 [email protected], David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected], Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, [email protected]

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests