Thursday, March 05, 2009

Benedict XVI & Cardinal George of Chicago cover-up sexual abuse

“Don’t appeal new ruling,” clergy sex victims urge Catholic group

Chicago-based religious order is defendant in controversial Vatican case

Irish predator admitted molesting 3 boys here but was still sent to another school

SNAP also prods Cardinal to say how much he pays his lawyers in sex abuse cases

Figures released today show archdiocese spent $100 million on abuse over last 10 years


After a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will try to hand deliver a letter to the heads of a Chicago-based international Catholic religious order which is a defendant in a controversial child molestation and cover up lawsuit against the Vatican. The letter asks the church group to

-- let a child sex abuse victim have his “day in court” against the Pope,

-- not appeal the new ruling that lets his case move forward,

-- stop fighting him by ‘exploiting legal technicalities,’ and

-- start aggressively reaching out to others who may have been hurt by the predator.

In the wake of newly released archdiocese spending figures, the victims will also prod Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George to disclose how much he spends on lawyers in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases and to stop using similar legal maneuvers to fight victims.


Thursday, March 5, 1:00 p.m.


Outside the US headquarters of the Servites, 3121 W. Jackson (just east of Kedzie) in Chicago


Several Catholics and clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a self help group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (, including SNAP's founder and president


On Tuesday, a three judge appeals panel in Oregon ruled that an alleged clergy sex abuse victim can, for the first time, sue the Vatican. (It’s the first time in history that an individual victim has won this right.) The accused predator is Fr. Andrew Ronan, who admitted that he molested three Chicago boys at St Philip's High School in the 1960s. He was then sent to a Portland school where he abused again.

Victim advocates say that in a rigid hierarchy like the Catholic church, decisions come from the Vatican, so Rome should be held responsible for on-going cover ups of clergy sex crimes. They believe the case will help prevent future child assaults and cover ups of those assaults.

SNAP wants the Servites to stop “exploiting legal technicalities” and let the case proceed, especially because it has already drug on for seven years. They also want Chicago’s Cardinal Francis George to disclose how much he pays lawyers in clergy sex cases, and start defending accused pedophile priests on the actual factual merits, not on archaic legal maneuvers.

The victims attorneys are Jeff Anderson, 612 817 8665 and Mike Finnegan 612 205 5531. Copies of the lawsuit, the ruling and a video stream of the attorneys’ news conference yesterday can be found at

Barbara Blaine, SNAP President, 312-399-4747
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director 314-566-9790
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director 314-862-7688 (home)

Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests


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