The weekly St. Louis alternative newspaper, Riverfront Times, published an exchange on January 19 between reporter Nicholas Phillips and David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).  Clohessy is quoted as saying the following about Catholic Archbishop Robert Carlson of Missouri, “Archbishop Carlson and his brother Catholic bishops have hired, hidden, transferred, defended and enabled child molesters. SNAP hasn’t. Carlson and his colleagues have ignored and concealed their crimes. SNAP hasn’t.”
 
William Donohue, president of the Catholic League - an advocacy group based in New York, commented about the exchange, saying " I will leave it to Archbishop Carlson’s lawyers to respond to Clohessy, but I cannot allow the SNAP director to lie about his own personal involvement in the cover-up of a known child molester."
 
Donohue, who is known for wading into disputes over the role of the Catholic Church in American life, added "In the 1990s, David Clohessy knew about his brother Kevin’s sexually predatory behavior and never called the cops. Yet he has the audacity to condemn others for not doing what he manifestly refused to do when he learned that his brother, a priest, was abusing young men. The SNAP director said at the time, “he’s my brother; he’s an abuser. Do I treat him like my brother?” Well, Mr. Clean, accused priests are the brothers of their bishop, so what would you say to both parties?"
 
A frequent critic of SNAP, Donohue has linked the advocacy group to Jeffrey Anderson, an attorney based in Minnesota who has been successful in getting large settlements from Catholic dioceses and religious organizations for alleged sexual abuse on the part of Catholic clergy. Donohue said of SNAP and its staff, "Dr. Steve Taylor is a psychiatrist who is sitting in prison for downloading child pornography from his computer. He is well known to SNAP—he was one of their go-to shrinks for years. Indeed, the convict is so well loved by SNAP that the founder of the organization, Barbara Blaine, intervened on his behalf and wrote to the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners pleading with them to cut Taylor some slack.  In other words, SNAP has hired, hidden, defended, enabled, ignored and concealed the crimes of child molesters."
 

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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