Abuse victims advocate is subpoenaed by St. Louis Archdiocese

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

[link to court documents via SNAP]

BY TIM TOWNSEND • ttownsend@post-dispatch.com > 314-340-8221

Lawyers for the Archdiocese of St. Louis subpoenaed an official with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests this week in what the organization called a pattern by Missouri bishops intended to cripple its ability to help victims of clergy abuse.

The move follows a similar, and successful, one by attorneys across the state in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph that forced the group’s director, David Clohessy, to sit for a deposition Monday in an ongoing abuse case in that diocese.

But attorneys for the St. Louis archdiocese said Thursday that the subpoena it sent to Barbara Dorris, the group’s St. Louis-based outreach director, was “particular to the case involved,” and “not a new way of doing things.”

The subpoena “is intended to be narrow and only applicable to this case and it’s not a fishing expedition,” said Bernard Huger, an attorney for the archdiocese. He said the subpoena came so soon after the Kansas City case only to protect the information the archdiocese seeks in its case from being destroyed.

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