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Church Puts Legal Pressure on Abuse Victims Group
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of New York Times

New York Times, March 13, 2012
Posted: March 20th, 2012

Turning the tables on an advocacy group that has long supported victims of pedophile priests, lawyers for the Roman Catholic Church and priests accused of sexual abuse in two Missouri cases have gone to court to compel the group to disclose more than two decades of e-mails that could include correspondence with victims, lawyers, whistle-blowers, witnesses, the police, prosecutors and journalists. The group, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, is neither a plaintiff nor a defendant in the litigation. But the group has been subpoenaed five times in recent months in Kansas City and St. Louis, and its national director, David Clohessy, was questioned by a battery of lawyers for more than six hours this year. A judge in Kansas City ruled that the network must comply because it almost certainly had information relevant to the case. The network and its allies say the legal action is part of a campaign by the church to cripple an organization that has been the most visible defender of victims, and a relentless adversary, for more than two decades. If there is one group that the higher-ups, the bishops, would like to see silenced, said Marci A. Hamilton, a law professor at Yeshiva University and an advocate for victims of clergy sex crimes, it definitely would be SNAP. And thats what theyre going after. Theyre trying to find a way to silence SNAP.

Note: For an excellent NY Times editorial on this, click here. To sign a petition calling for the Catholic Church to stop its persecution of SNAP, click here.

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