On January 2, David Clohessy, the president of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), was deposed in Missouri regarding his role in cases of priestly sexual abuse. The deposition was recently made available [click here]; Catholic League president Bill Donohue has written a report on it, SNAP UNRAVELS [to read it, click here]; it is being mailed to the bishops today.
Donohue summarizes his report as follows:
David Clohessy claims that he doesn’t have to turn over most of the requested documents, or answer many of the questions. Why? Because SNAP is a rape crisis center, and therefore its confidentiality is protected under Missouri law. But when asked directly if SNAP is a rape crisis center, he said, “I don’t know.” He also admitted that he doesn’t know what constitutes a rape crisis center in Missouri.
Clohessy counsels alleged victims of abuse for a living, yet he admits to having no training whatsoever. He confessed that he does his unlicensed counseling in places like Starbucks; he also “consoles” his clients over the phone. Furthermore, there is not a single employed licensed counselor on SNAP’s staff. Moreover, he could not state a single instance where SNAP has paid for a licensed counselor to counsel a specific person.
Clohessy refused to disclose the source of his funding. He said he was wholly unaware that SNAP was mandated by federal law to contribute to charities. It was revealed that SNAP spent a grand total of $593 in 2007 on “survivor support”; the following year, it spent $92,000 on travel.
When asked how SNAP could get its hands on lawsuits against the Catholic Church before they were even filed, he refused to answer. He also said that aside from SNAP founder, Barbara Blaine, he did not know the full names of those on his staff. When asked if he ever gave false statements to the press, he didn’t blink. “Sure,” he said.
Even if Clohessy started out as an activist for justice, it is crystal clear that he has evolved into something altogether different.