Episcopalians going to today's noon service at Christ Church Episcopal Cathedral can expect to be harassed by those dang folks from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests (SNAP). Network co-founder and president Barbara Blaine is in town to drum up awareness over the November 3 trial involving three former Austin Episcopal boarding school students who say the Episcopal Diocese of Texas covered up sexual abuse they allegedly suffered at the hands of now-defrocked priest James Tucker.
Specifically, Blaine is outraged by what appears to be the diocese's insistence to settle and seal the case. Blaine, who herself is a victim of a priest's abuse, says it's crucial that victims not be forced to keep any part of their experiences in the dark.
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"They shouldn't have to keep any secrets....the victims speaking out is a gift to the church," Blaine told Hair Balls. "We kept our secrets for years, and that's how so many of our perpetrators got to more kids....Tucker was only stopped after kids started telling."
Felicia Peavey, one of the attorneys representing the three plaintiffs, told Hair Balls the diocese's lawyers haven't clearly outlined the terms of a proposed settlement agreement, but she says the diocese would prefer to avoid any future limelight.
(Strangely enough, the Press relied heavily on the diocese's own publicly released timeline of events that painted the diocese and a series of bishops in harsh light. The Press had also asked diocesan officials, and their attorneys, to comment -- requests that went, for the most part, ignored).
That said, the last thing Hair Balls would ever want to do is trash any institution that sits by while an adult male predator forcibly jerks off young boys, and then subsequently pawns the Chester onto an unsuspecting Houston church. We'd feel just terrible about that.