The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
SNAP Press Statement
For immediate release: Wednesday, July 13, 2011
Bishop should oust new lawyer specializing in “protecting” the accused
Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, National Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314-566-9790, [email protected])
Today’s revelations about Todd Graves (below) are disturbing.
It is sad when a man who postures as a “public servant” exploits that experience and sells himself to the highest bidder. But the real fault here isn’t with Graves. It is with Bishop Finn and his colleagues who continue to act deceptively.
Graves brags about how he “confidentially” helps those "under investigation" pledging to "protect the person, protect the brand ...." Finn’s obsession with “protecting the brand” – instead of protecting the kids - is of course what enabled Fr. Shawn Ratigan to keep exploiting and hurting children for months or years after suspicions and reports about his inappropriate actions surfaced.
Kansas City Catholics and citizens need lawyers and bishops who will protect the powerless, not the powerful.
Spending tens of thousands of parishioners’ donations on a third new lawyer might make for better public relations but not for better public safety.
It’s now pretty clear that Finn hired Graves for selfish reasons. Finn likely fears a real investigation by a sitting prosecutor. So he’s trying to diffuse public pressure by paying a former prosecutor for a sham ‘investigation.’
When caught doing wrong, a violator can go in two directions. He can stop doing wrong, or he can work a lot harder to conceal his wrongdoing. Sadly, Finn is choosing the latter. And he’s paying Graves to help him.
We call on Finn to call off this sham, stop paying Graves, and instead start aggressively prodding victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call real prosecutors. Kansas City Catholics don’t need yet another betrayal and whitewash.
Finally, at the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is more proof of what we’ve long said: the only real hopes for reform are current prosecutors who represent citizens – not ex-prosecutors who represent themselves. Parents deserve prosecutors who help protect the public - not ex-prosecutors who enrich themselves.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 23 years and have more than 10,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, [email protected]), Peter Isely (414-429-7259, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
TKC EXCLUSIVE AND BREAKING NEWS!!! CHECK OUT THE SMARMY TODD GRAVES MARKETING TACTICS EMPLOYED THE KANSAS CITY CATHOLIC HIERARCHY!!!
Sorry for not posting this earlier but it STILL provides a pretty good reason to abandon faith in everything . . .
A RATHER KICK-ASS TKC TIPSTER SHOWS US SOME MARKETING MATERIALS THAT DON'T SPEAK WELL OF SO MANY LOCAL CATHOLIC PROMISES OF TRANSPARENCY!!!
A bit of background . . . We all know child porn charges and other nasty biz has embroiled Bishop Finn and the KC/St. Joe diocese in quite a bit of controversy.
In order to get out of hot water . . . The local Catholic leadership turned to Todd Graves for help in turning around their horrible, local rep.
Accordingly . . .
A KICK-ASS TKC TIPSTER CRIES FOUL UPON READING THE MARKETING MATERIALS FROM THE TODD GRAVES FIRM THAT RUN COUNTER TO KANSAS CITY CATHOLIC LEADERSHIP PROMISES!!!
Take a look at the marketing material for yourself . . . Click the images to enlarge:
MORE IMPORTANTLY . . . Check some commentary on this topic that sums up the sitch a lot more eloquently than I ever could . . .
"Please find attached a scanned copy of a promotional mailing, which advertises the services of the law firm of Graves Bartle Marcus and Garrett, LLC.
"With arrogance, the advertisement touts the firm's usefulness to potential clients who find themselves "under investigation" by the government. In addition, the law firm promises that it offers "confidential" services.
"Rather than stressing the firm's ability to investigate allegations of wrong-doing in order to correct problems, the advertisement promises to "protect the person, protect the brand ...."
"Of course, this advertisement is particularly interesting because late this spring, the local Catholic Diocese retained Mr. Todd Graves to investigate how the diocese handled the matter of the Rev. Shawn F. Ratigan, other sex abuse allegations, and church policies and procedures -- at a time when victims were calling for a law enforcement investigation!
"The appointment of Mr. Graves, as viewed in the light of his law firm's advertising, begs the question: Is Mr. Graves retained to investigate wrong-doing, or cover it up with his credentials, credibility and confidentiality?
"Furthermore, one might ask, in this case: Does protecting the person and the brand equate with protecting Bishop Finn and the Catholic hierarchy -- at the expense of heinously injured individuals and families?
"The since the firm of Graves Bartel Marcus and Garrett, LLC promises its clients "confidential" services, one can assume that the only way that questions surrounding Mr. Graves retention by the Diocese can be answered fully, faithfully and transparently is through a special Grand Jury investigation into the allegations of sexual abuse by priests and the Diocese response to those allegations.
Injustice should not be available for purchase for a fee."
I don't really care what superstitions anybody subscribes to . . . But that bit of promotional junk mail is EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE of what local Catholic leaders promised in response to this latest round of criticism.
And it's tragic to think that once again PR speak and legalese might thwart any real change in the rather pervy, nasty and constantly disappointing local Catholic Church.
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests