WA- Hundreds more clergy sex victims come forward; SNAP responds

For immediate release: Friday, Sept. 19, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com)

We are shocked to learn that more than 150 adults who say they were molested by Spokane diocese priests have “had their cases rejected by a former federal judge” over the past several months. And since the Spokane Diocese bankruptcy settled in 2004, a total of 230 people have filed such claims, according to a new story in the Spokesman-Review newspaper.

We applaud these brave men and women who are coming forward hoping to expose predators, protect kids, achieve justice and start healing.

And we again denounce selfish Spokane Catholic officials who exploited and are still exploiting secular bankruptcy laws to hide widespread clergy sex crimes and horrific cover ups of those crimes.

We reject the notion that somehow, more clergy sex abuse and cover up cases somehow “threaten Eastern Washington parishes.” Catholic officials desperately want to avoid embarrassing abuse and cover up trials at which their recent and often continuing complicity is publicly exposed. So they often make this claim that abuse victims coming forward may result in parish closures. That's an obscene and unsupported claim that's often intended to scare victims.

The Catholic hierarchy has massive wealth and many options to take loans if need be. Disgraced Cardinal Bernard Law of Boston borrowed $25 million from a Catholic men's group to help settle clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. So no one should be fooled by claims that somehow any Catholic diocese may have to shutter churches because bishops have acted so recklessly, callously and deceitfully about the safety of kids. That claim is a self-serving ploy.

We beg those who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Spokane to speak up, expose wrongdoers, protect kids, and start healing.

(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 25 years and have more than 20,000 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, davidgclohessy@gmail.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com

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