|Victims Seek Seattle Archbishop's Help
Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests
May 23, 2011
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and supporters will:
--harshly criticize a large Catholic religious order for filing for bankruptcy,
--urge Seattle's archbishop to "aggressively seek out" others hurt by clerics, &
They will also beg anyone who
-- suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward and get help, and
-- saw or suspected clergy sex crimes or cover ups to call police.
Monday, May 23 at 11:15 p.m.
Outside St. James Catholic Cathedral, 804 Ninth Ave. in Seattle, WA
2-3 child sex abuse victims who belong to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org), including a Missouri woman who is the organization's long time outreach director
Three weeks ago, largely because of clergy sex abuse and cover ups in Seattle, a large Catholic religious order sought bankruptcy protection, effectively keeping church records about child sex crimes hidden and preventing potentially embarrassing civil trials. The New York-based Christian Brothers claim they're experiencing financial hardship, but SNAP leaders are skeptical. Instead, they believe the Chapter 11 filing was intended to ending legal efforts to expose the corruption and complicity of the religious order's hierarchy.
Much of the wrongdoing happened at O'Dea High School in Seattle and the now-closed Briscoe Memorial School near Kent, both of which were run by the Christian Brothers. One of the accused sex offenders is Edward Courtney, an ex-brother who worked at O'Dea and at St. Alphonsus School (also in Seattle).
SNAP is asking Seattle Bishop Peter Sartain to use his vast resources to help find others who were sexually victimized by Christian Brothers throughout the Seattle area.
Sartain will distance himself and his archdiocese from the Christian Brothers, stressing that the two are separate legal entities. But according to church law, custom and practice, a bishop is responsible for the well-being of all Catholics in his jurisdiction. Because of this, SNAP maintains that Sartain has a moral and civic duty to aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes by Christian Brothers. This is especially true, the group argues, since the archdiocese own O'Dea High School.
Specifically, SNAP wants Sartain post announcements with the names and whereabouts of proven, admitted and credibly accused Christian Brothers child molesters on the archdiocesan website and in parish bulletins. This is especially important, the group feels, because a bankruptcy judge will set a 'bar date' after which those who were molested will likely find it much harder to get any help or justice. SNAP considers such a deadline "arbitrary and unfair" benefitting only Catholic officials.
Seattle attorney Mike Pfau represents many of those victimized by Christian Brothers clerics. He's at 206 794 2822, Michael@pcvalaw.com
Barbara Dorris 314 503 0003, SNAPdorris@gmail.com , Barbara Blaine 312 399 4747, SNAPblaine@gmail.com, David Clohessy 314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com
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