Catholic League

Catholic League president Bill Donohue comments on the director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), David Clohessy, and its outreach director, Barbara Dorris:

Yesterday I said, “[David] Clohessy never tires of lecturing the Catholic Church on the need for transparency, yet when he is in the hot seat he rebels.” I was referring to his anger at being subpoenaed to testify in a St. Louis court on Monday regarding public statements he made that were allegedly taken from lawyer Rebecca Randles in violation of a court gag order. Now Clohessy is justifying a double standard.

“We believe that there are two standards of transparency,” Clohessy said. He maintained there is one standard for “institutions that have enabled thousands of pedophiles,” and another for “organizations that enable kids to be safer and expose heinous crimes.” In other words, there should be one standard of justice for the Catholic Church, and another for SNAP.

A defense lawyer seized the moment. He noted that Clohessy wants bishops to suspend accused priests “the minute they are sued for abuse.” Accordingly, he then asked, does this mean SNAP should close its doors immediately if it is sued for defamation or libel? Clohessy flatly said, “No.” Interestingly, Clohessy refused to answer many questions during his deposition, complaining that “Church defense lawyers will likely ask that we be found in contempt of court and possibly fined or possibly jailed.” Reporters described him as looking “shaken and teary-eyed.”

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