SNAP Members to Pass out Fliers Sunday

10 News [San Diego CA]
February 24, 2007

Members of a group critical of the way the Roman Catholic Church is handling sex abuse claims will pass out fliers Sunday in front of the San Diego diocese's cathedral, a representative said Saturday.

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests will be found outside of St. Joseph's Cathedral, 1535 3rd Ave, according to SNAP officials.

Between three and five sex abuse victims will pass out the fliers urging Bishop Robert Brom to let one child molestation trial set for Wednesday go forward before considering bankruptcy, said Mary Grant, western regional director of SNAP.

"We're urging parishioners for their help," Grant said. "One hundred fifty-five victims have been waiting for their day in court. If the diocese didn't cover up abuse, then why not let the trial go forward?"

Neither the diocese nor a representative from St. Joseph's could be reached for comment Saturday.

The diocese announced last week that it was considering filing for bankruptcy protection rather than paying up to $200 million in claims stemming from lawsuits alleging sex abuse by priests.

Four U.S. Catholic dioceses have sought bankruptcy protection as a result of sexual abuse claims.

More than 150 San Diego lawsuits were filed in 2003 after the state Legislature lifted, for one year, the legal statute of limitations, allowing the cases to go forward.

Brom mentioned the abuse victims in a recent pastoral statement, saying that he was "profoundly sorry for this betrayal of trust in your lives."

SNAP has been highly critical of the announcement, and last week challenged Brom to fully disclose all insurance coverage, property, cash reserves and all other financial resources.

"Until Brom does this, Catholics should disbelieve his claim that the diocese's work may be hurt if child sex victims are fairly compensated," according to a statement released by SNAP.


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