SNAP Calls for Ouster of Monsignor
By Maria Hickey
KWMU [St. Louis MO]
January 9, 2005
ST. LOUIS (2005-01-06) The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, is calling for the removal of a top official with the Archdiocese of St. Louis.
The group has sent a letter to Archbishop Raymond Burke asking him to remove Monsignor Richard Stika, the point person on sex abuse cases. The group says Stika has erred on the side of protecting priests.
SNAP national director David Clohessy says while Stika is not responsible for abuse problems within the archdiocese, he's part of the problem.
"And ultimately the buck does stop at Archbishop Burke's doorstep," Clohessy said. "But if the person who on a daily basis is receiving calls and returning calls to victims; if that person is not doing his job well, then no one else in the Archdiocese can do their job well."
Clohessy said a priest suspended last week by the archdiocese had been accused of abuse two years ago. He says Stika failed to disclose the earlier charges of abuse and acted too late.
Archdiocesan spokesperson Jamie Allman says those earlier allegations proved false, but later misconduct led to the priest's quick removal. He says the monsignor has done his job well.
"In our estimation Monsignor Stika, as a representative of Archbishop Raymond Burke, has done an exemplary job in dealing with the very tough and painful issue of priest abuse," Allman said.
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