Friday, January 21, 2011

Legal technicality
Church exploits legal technicality in child sex case; SNAP responds

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,

Shame on Presbyterian officials for acting like cold-hearted CEOs instead of compassionate shepherds in a pending child sex abuse and cover up case. It’s very distressing to see another denomination taking the same selfish and hurtful legal maneuvers taken by hundreds of complicit Catholic bishops.

If the Presbyterians are innocent of ignoring or concealing devastating child sex crimes, they have nothing to fear in the current case. But by seeking to exploit the arbitrary statute of limitations, they are essentially admitting they’re afraid of incriminating evidence of their wrong doing that will likely surface if this brave victim gets his day in court.

Church officials should do what’s right and defend themselves on the merits, not hide behind convenient but archaic and predator-friendly legal technicalities.

The church’s report last year on child abuse and cover ups in Presbyterian agencies overseas is looking more and more like a public relations move than a sincere effort to foster healing.

We hope that others who saw, suspected or suffered Warlick’s crimes will come forward, get help, call police, expose wrongdoing, protect kids and start healing.

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