PEORIA -- The Journal Star on Aug. 13 ran a fascinating story from the Associated Press about how the Cathholic Diocese of Peoria will pay $1.35 million to settle a sexual abuse lawsuit.
SNAP, the group helping to expose this abuse, says there should be more to come. Here is the news release issued Aug. 13.
For immediate release: August 13, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Archbishop John Myers answers under oath are pathetic. He wants us to believe everyone and everything else is at fault, while he allegedly did nothing wrong.
He blames allegedly bad files, therapists, underlings, canon law (p. 188) and even buildings (page 34 & 145).
His memory of how others didn't act properly seems very clear. But his memory about his own wrongdoing suddenly gets very murky. (On page 35, for example, he can’t recall whether he ordered his staff to report suspected child sex crimes to authorities. Later, he can’t even recall whether he was on a bishops’ sex abuse committee in the 1990s.)
Over and over again he keeps claiming he does not recall reports of abuse, suspicions of abuse, what he did, what he did not do, or what year anything happened. (But corrected an attorney on what year Cardinal Ratzinger took over the CDF.)
In several letters Myers thanks Msgr. Maloney (a credibly accused child molester), thanking Maloney for gifts including "your much-loved camera," a silver object so big "it could be tied around one's neck like the proverbial 'millstone,’" gold coins and a monetary gift, which Myers says he will use to gamble on the dog races in Florida.
These gifts seem inappropriate and troubling. We hope Myers will explain why he took them.
We can’t help but wonder if Myers is still accepting expensive gifts from priests in New Jersey, including those who are admitted, proven or credibly accused child molesters. We hope Myers will explain whether he is indeed still taking expensive gifts.
There's a lesson in all of this: Bishops still cannot be trusted to 'come clean' about clergy sex crimes and cover ups, even now, and even under oath.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Here's an Aug. 14 follow up story by the Journal Star.