SNAP Now Makes It Perfectly Clear: Publicity Comes First, Victims Second

David Clohessy SNAP

Microphones before victims? David Clohessy makes a disturbing request

If there is one "bright spot" in the outcome of the Bishop Finn trial, it is that innocent victims and their families were spared the excruciating ordeal of having to appear in public court and having to identify how they were criminally victimized by Fr. Shawn Ratigan.

Indeed, Kansas City Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker announced in a press conference after the verdict last Thursday:

"The victims in this case have the real win today … We did not have to drag in parents for them to have to identify photographs of their children … [These victims' families] were all ecstatic that this could end today and it would end with their child's anonymity clearly in place, that their child's anonymity would be protected … None of the families expressed any kind of anger about this outcome. They're thrilled. They're absolutely thrilled with the outcome."

However, if it were up to David Clohessy, the National Director of SNAP, innocent children and their families would have towed themselves through a media circus and into court to publicly relive the horror of having been victimized.

A disturbing letter and appearance

As Clohessy announced in a press conference before the verdict in the trial, he sent a letter on behalf of SNAP urging the judge and the prosecutor to conduct a "separate hearing" for victims to appear in court in the event of a guilty outcome for Bishop Finn.

Clohessy's request appeared to serve no other purpose except to simply try to prolong the media spectacle in favor of SNAP, to give the group more microphone time to trumpet its anti-Catholic tirades.

Moreover, as prosecutor Peters Baker made very clear, victims did not want a prolonged ordeal. Apparently, this did not mean anything to Clohessy.

This episode also illustrates how out of touch SNAP is with so many clergy abuse victims. Even though this case took place in the same state as Clohessy's residence, he publicly made an urgent request that was in direct opposition to the wishes of the victims in this case.

Here is a clear example of SNAP putting its own anti-Catholic agenda ahead of the welfare of victims.


  1. jim robertson says:

    I have to say it again. SNAP is working for the Church. SNAP is not working for victims. Your instincts are correct SNAP wants you to see them and the victims they purport to represent, as the enemy. It serves only the Church. With it's South African Lager mentality: circle the wagons here come the Zulus.

  2. Charlene says:

    Jim, SNAP has never worked for the Church.  I hate to burst your bubble, but you are dreaming if you ever thought SNAP has done anything other than enrich itself and the greedy lawyers who have thrown in with them for money.  Even some "victims" are disgusted with SNAP and its leadership.  Follow the money!

  3. jim robertson says:

    Follow the person who worked closer to SNAP longer than almost anyone. You can not deny Los Angeles caught the SNAP show for at least 6 years and I was right there next to the stars. Have any of you spent 6 years with SNAP? I have and I'm telling you the truth. I have no bubble to burst SNAP popped that sucker long ago. As faras "our" lawyers went. They all stood in a line and more or less mimicked Ray Bouchet the lead lawyer. The lead lawyer hand picked by Jeff Anderson. And who's Jeff Anderson in the dark ? He's just been this very handy fixture out there for years.
    I remember Mark Serrano( Big time Washington lobbyist for SNAP)  said in a documentary: Holy Watergate. That he had gone to the Church; been given a Catholic attorney who advised settlement and secrecy. What if the Church found a nice compliant attorney they could setup to have the victims collected by SNAP farmed out to, to be placed in the most compliant of attorney settings.
    No one would violate the rights of their clients or the law but at the same time acertain antagonism left out could be quite telling. Immoral definately but probably not illegal.

  4. IllinoisMan says:

    Mr. Robertson might be right in a way.  I wouldn't be surprised if SNAP and some people in the Catholic Church are working together.  Contrary to popular opinion, the Church is not a monolithic structure.  As some may imagine, there are very corrupt people in the Church.  My theory is that some in-the-know people in the Church feed cases to SNAP and abuse lawyers and get kickbacks in return.  And those who knows the dirt are likely abusers themselves, but very smart abusers.  There was a comment following an article about Voice of the Faithful  on the Nat'l Catholic Reporter website in which someone detailed how the laymen and Jesuits who push VOTF ignored victims of a Catholic layman in Haiti.  I certainly wouldn't be surprised if some of the leading lights of so-called Church "reform" are in fact abusers or abuse enablers themselves.  SNAP has managed to corral the phenomenon of abuse in the Catholic Church into its own orbit.  Who funds SNAP?  Are abuse lawyers working with and/or paying off people who work for the Church to feed them information?  My personal opinion is that the abuse scandals are being exploited by so-called Church "reformers" to push their own agenda.  The fact that the NY Times supports SNAP in its editorials is enough to show that SNAP is very establishment.  And if I know the establishment, it can't be trusted. 

    • jim robertson says:

      Man, SNAP was created first to be the go to place for isolated victims; because we were usually not abused in groups. Therefor we don't usually know other victims. SNAP was created to control us ever really linking up with other victims and organizing ourselves. SNAP then became the go to place to find lawyers who since the Church refused to help us. We might find a lawyer who would. The Lawyer who ranked first in SNAP's grouping was Jeff Anderson. He was key speaker at SNAP's first national convention in2003 in (wait for it ) St Louis Missouri not exactly your hotbed of radical Catholicism. Yet it was Missouri that led everything re SNAP. Just FYI.

  5. IllinoisMan says:

    I'd love to know whether "hero" Jeff Anderson would take on something as gruesome as the Franklin Cover-up in Nebraska (which involved the Church to some extent).  Our beloved SNAP heroes are probably all just media creations.  Look at the anti-war movement of the 60s and how the CIA and FBI penetrated, if not created, some of the most supposedly anti-war groups.  Now look at SNAP and where it came from…out of the peace and justice wing of the Catholic Church in Chicago and St. Louis.   

  6. jim robertson says:

    Man, Your getting it. However I didn't know there was a "Peace and Justice" wing In Missouri or Illinois. The Dominicans (the same order that led the Spanish Inquisition and as Python said, "No one expects the Spanish Inquisition.") are not well known for being progressive.  If you look at the history of this scandal, until Boston in 2002, The Mississippi river looked like the backbone of victim action starting in Louisianna in the eary "90's to the so called "victims" founding of SNAP in St. Louis only controlled from Chicago and now headquartered there. SNAP sent out it's leadership packet from a former convent and at the time and still Church owned property. Now what makes anyone thing that what occurs on Church property isn't condoned by the Church? In Detroit after a victim was asked to return the keys of the SNAP meeting place to a rectory. Only then did that victim suss who owned the building where SNAP met. He had attended meetings for 8 months before he found out that the local "leaders" of SNAP were employees of the Church and NON-Victims.
    Year after year ideas and events were sabotaged and or raided by SNAP in order to maintain dominance of a "movement" they completely controlled. New York; Boston; Los Angeles; and Chicago all had events created by victims attacked by SNAP. That's when we began to get the message about who SNAP really is: Cointelpro.
    Thanks for noticing that what may appear to be a lamb sometimes isn't.

  7. IllinoisMan says:

    Yes…what often appears to be a lamb is actually a wolf.  From what reports I have received, the Church bureaucracy is corrupt.  For example, consider the Follieri scandal, where the Congregation for Clergy in Rome was slipping info to the Vatican secretary of state's nephew…who was in turn getting great deals on closed parish properties in the eastern US and flipping them for big profits.  Something similar could be going on with abuse cases.  My view is that the sloppy abusers are being exposed in order to bring in the cash to the smarter abusers, who know all the dirt on everyone.  Fr. Andrew Greeley said something to this effect years ago.  The Church has to have within its ranks a massive empire of blackmail, leaving one to wonder who really runs the show. 

    • jim robertson says:

      I only know what I've experienced.  anything's possible.  But how is that cash brought in  and who knows all the dirt on everybody????

  8. IllinoisMan says:

    I can't say who knows the dirt on everybody, but read Cooney's biography of Francis Spellman.  Cardinal O'Connell of Boston despised Spellman, so he gave him what was considered to be a terrible job: diocesan archivist.  Spellman came out knowing the dirt on the priests of the archdiocese.  Spellman went on to become archbishop of New York and a cardinal.