Local SNAP Leader Vows to Fight Records Disclosure Order

By Jeff Bernthal
Fox 2
January 7, 2012,0,5340898.story

[with video]


The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) handed out flyers in front of Christ the King church in University City on Saturday asking parishioners for a favor. SNAP is trying to fight two subpoenas ordering them to turn over private communications with victims.

The flyers ask Catholics to ask church leaders to back away from asking SNAP for certain information.

The subpoenas come from church lawyers trying to track down gag order violations and the courts agree that SNAP must turn over its communications.

SNAP's national director, David Clohessy, worries about the effect the decision will have on other victims.

"It just breaks our heart to even think about turning over private letters, private emails," said Clohessy.

One of the parishioners who received the flyer said he has another concern.

"I'm concerned with all the focus on the Catholic church. I makes it seem this is the only place where this is going on and it isn't," said church member Philip Dennis.

Clohessy said he plans on fighting the subpoenas but that takes time and money. The two cases involve lawsuits involving alleged victims and priests.

SNAP was outside Christ the King Church because one of those suits involved a defrocked priest once assigned to the church. Joseph D. Ross pleaded guilty in 1988 to the sexual abuse of an 11 year old boy. He is being sued by a 19 year old woman who claims he abused her at St. Cronan church between 1998 and 2000.


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