We note with relish a recent ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Carol E. Jackson: she dropped the hammer on the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP).
On several occasions, we have revealed SNAP executive director David Clohessy to be a professed liar who runs a phony “victims group”; its real goal is to attack the Catholic Church. Now he is back in the news, this time for being slapped down by a federal judge.
SNAP has publicly accused Father Joseph Jiang of sexually molesting minors. It says it knows who the victims are. But it provides no evidence whatsoever, and refuses to disclose—under court order—who they are. This partly explains why U.S. District Court Judge Carol E. Jackson accused SNAP of defaming Father Jiang.
In a just world, Judge Jackson would not have had to issue her ruling. That’s because in 2013 charges that the priest had an inappropriate contact with a high school student were dismissed. The court found that there was no evidence that he was ever alone with the student.
In 2015, in another case, not only were criminal charges against Father Jiang dismissed, he agreed to an independent polygraph investigation; he easily passed the lie test.
After being trashed in the media, Father Jiang filed a defamation suit last year against the boy’s parents, the police, Clohessy, and his colleague, Barbara Davis. On June 27, Judge Jackson ordered SNAP to turn over the details of those who claimed they were victimized by the Chinese priest. It failed to do so. This is why she accused SNAP of “deliberate and willful refusal to comply.”
Judge Jackson was explicit in her statement to SNAP: She wanted the emails, text messages, and contact information of those who claimed that Father Jiang molested a boy in a Catholic school bathroom. The charges were dropped, but that didn’t matter to SNAP, which is why it persisted in its crusade to ruin him. When Judge Jackson called SNAP’s bluff—put up or shut up—Clohessy ran for cover, dishonestly claiming that SNAP was exempt from her order on the basis of its alleged “rape crisis center privilege.”
SNAP’s ploy didn’t work. Judge Jackson blasted Clohessy for his “repeated assertions of nonexistent privileges.” Not only is the judge right about this phony exemption, this is not the first time the SNAP director has pulled this stunt.
In 2012, Clohessy was deposed by a Missouri court, wherein it was shown that he (a) lied to the media about his work (b) falsely advertised SNAP as a rape crisis center (c) exploited his clients by providing unauthorized “counseling” services (d) ripped off those who are truly in need of help by failing to contribute even a dime for licensed counselors and (e) pursued priests on the basis of legal criteria he admits he cannot explain.
In her court order, Judge Jackson charged SNAP defendants with conspiracy: they conspired “to obtain plaintiff’s conviction on sexual abuse charges.” She also stated why: it was due to “discriminatory animus against plaintiff based on his religion, religious vocation, race, and national origin.”
Yes, Clohessy and his staff conspired against Jiang because he was a Catholic priest—in their minds all accused priests are guilty—and because he was an easy Asian target. But now they know that Father Jiang is no pushover: SNAP must now pay for the priest’s legal fees, and other charges.
One of the reasons why Father Jiang is not a pansy is because of his no-nonsense boss. Archbishop Carlson is a courageous leader of the Catholic Church, one who has the moxie to take on the likes of SNAP. This is why Clohessy hates him.
Clohessy’s hatred of Archbishop Carlson is what drove him to smear this prince of the Church. In a statement released August 23, Clohessy said, “Archbishop Carlson refuses to reveal where Fr. Jiang is living, why he had a bedroom in Carlson’s home and why Fr. Jiang followed Carlson from city to city (a highly unusual arrangement in the Catholic Church).”
How cute. Why doesn’t Clohessy have the guts to say what he is implying? Furthermore, does he think the archbishop is under some obligation to inform him where Father Jiang lives? Does he know that bishops typically have spare rooms in their residences? Similarly, does he know how common it is for bishops to be accompanied—city to city—by priests? Perhaps if Clohessy were a practicing Catholic he would know the answers.
SNAP is not some innocent, well-intentioned, organization out to help the victims of abuse. It is not innocent: it is guilty of lying to the media about its cause. It is not well intentioned: its goal is to malign the Catholic Church. It is not an organization: Clohessy does not have an office that he reports to daily, and he commands no staff. It does not seek to help victims: it rips them off by offering unlicensed counseling.
True victims of abuse deserve justice, not the kind of injustice rendered by SNAP. Kudos to Judge Jackson for doing her job, and to Father Jiang and Archbishop Carlson for standing up to these bullies.