Longtime leader resigns from priest sex abuse victims’ advocacy group

The Kansas City Star


David Clohessy, who for more than two decades was the face of a national victims’ advocacy group that pressured the Catholic Church to take a more aggressive stance on the priest sex abuse issue, has stepped down from the organization.

An official with the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said this week that Clohessy voluntarily resigned as executive director on Dec. 31. The announcement, sent to SNAP volunteers, came seven days after a former employee filed an explosive lawsuit against the organization claiming SNAP was exploiting sexual abuse victims and receiving kickbacks from attorneys for sending clients their way.

Clohessy told The Star on Thursday that the lawsuit had nothing to do with his resignation and called the allegations in the case “preposterous.”

“I told the board in October that I would be resigning,” he said. “We had no idea the lawsuit was coming. It caught all of us completely off guard.”

Clohessy, 60, who lives in the St. Louis area, said he decided it was time for him to step aside. For now, he said, he will remain on the SNAP board. SNAP is based in the Chicago area.

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