|Clergy Sex Abuse Victims Blast Diocese
December 8, 2008
Sixteen months after agreement, church still won’t pay, they say
Those molested as children were promised checks ten months ago
Catholic officials accused of ‘re-victimizing’ dozens hurt by church employees
At a sidewalk press conference, clergy sex abuse victims will
- blast Charleston Catholic officials for not honoring their promises in a class action settlement of of child molestation and cover up cases, and for refusing to compensate them, and
- encourage anyone who saw, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes to come forward, get help, and call police.
Monday, Dec. 8, at 12:30 p.m
Two-three local men who were molested as kids by Catholic priests and are part of the settlement, including the new Charleston spokesman for a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
Outside the Catholic Diocese of Charleston, 119 Broad Street (near corner of Orange), Charleston, SC
In Aug. 2007, diocesan officials announced the settlement of a class action lawsuit involving 11 victims of allegedly predatory Catholic employees (priests & parochial school teachers). At the time, South Carolina’s bishop was Bishop Robert Baker, who has since been named head of the Birmingham diocese in Alabama. The Charleston diocese is now headed by an ‘administrator,’ Msgr. Martin Laughlin (843 853 2130).
For months, church figures have given few and conflicting explanations for why they haven’t met the deadlines to distribute the settlement. In March 2008, separate lawsuit has been filed against the diocese for its breach of contract but church officials continue to refuse to pay.
(http://www3.charlestoncounty.org/surfer/form/emulator/11_kyF284768407_284770668 or http://www3.charlestoncounty.org/docs/CoC/index.html)
The victims feel hurt and betrayed by the ‘foot dragging’ by the Catholic diocese. They also worry about other victims are battling depression, addictions and other severe impacts of childhood trauma and who need the settlement for medical and psychological care.
The victims will also publicly urge anyone with information about crimes by clergy – whether victims or witnesses - to break their silence, seek professional counseling, and contact law enforcement so that predators can be exposed and kids can be protected.
Attorney Gregg Meyers (843 720 8714) is handling the case for the victims.
CONTACT: Larry Mullen 843 766 0555, David Clohessy 314 566 9790
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