SNAP subpoenaed in lawsuits against church

March 13, 2012 at 2:25 PM
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KANSAS CITY, Mo., March 13 (UPI) -- The best-known advocacy group for those sexually molested by Roman Catholic priests has been subpoenaed in two Missouri lawsuits against the church.

Lawyers in cases being heard in St. Louis and Kansas City have sought records from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests or SNAP and have questioned National Director David Clohessy, The New York Times reported. In Kansas City, the diocese has been sued and Bishop Robert Finn faces criminal charges of covering up abuse.

William Donohue, head of the Catholic League for Religious and Civil Rights, who calls SNAP "a menace to the Roman Catholic Church, says bishops have decided to take a more aggressive legal stand against abuse charges.

"The bishops have come together collectively," Donohue told the Times. "I can't give you the names, but there's a growing consensus on the part of the bishops that they had better toughen up and go out and buy some good lawyers to get tough. We don't need altar boys."

Sister Mary Ann Walsh, spokeswoman for the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, said the bishops have no "national strategy."

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