Matt C. Abbott
SNAP critic accuses group of 'dishonesty'
By Matt C. Abbott
September 12, 2011

I recently received the following email (slightly edited) from Dave Pierre, creator of

    'I've been following the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests for a while now. While I have always said that we must demand justice and compassion for victims, the mean-spiritedness and dishonesty from SNAP director David Clohessy is truly awful.

    'There are a number of examples in his posting, but here's one: Clohessy cites an old passage from a 2002 New York Times article to buttress a false claim that false accusations are rare. I have specifically addressed and debunked (click here) this exact passage. It horribly misrepresents Judge Schiltz. What really gets me is that I highly suspect that Clohessy already knows this, but he continues to cite it anyways.

    'In addition, you are probably aware that the Archdiocese of Boston released its names of accused priests a couple of weeks ago. If you examine the numbers of just those cases where a conclusion has been established, 32 percent of the accusations are completely bogus. By the way, 43 percent of all the priests on all the different lists are deceased! This figure also happens to match the CARA report from earlier this year: 43 percent of all Catholic priests who were accused of abuse in 2010 were deceased!

    'Clohessy — and you, for that matter, I don't know — may try to dismiss and/or marginalize me as some crackpot in a basement excusing wrongdoing. I'm not. My website may not look as polished as some (I'm working on it), but I am a husband, father, and working professional, and I am committed to accuracy and truth. By the way, neither Clohessy nor anyone at SNAP has ever contacted me to say that anything I have written on my site is incorrect.

    'Yes, priests abused minors, bishops failed to act responsibly, and the awful harm to innocent victims is immeasurable. However, what continues to disturb me is the colossal amount of misinformation and dishonesty in the reporting of this entire narrative — and a lot of it is proliferated by Clohessy and others at SNAP.'

Clohessy declined to formally respond to Pierre's assertions, but he stands by SNAP's work and statements. Clohessy also referred me to this information in regard to false allegations of abuse.

Pertinent links:


"Sins of the Father"

© Matt C. Abbott


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Matt C. Abbott

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic commentator with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, media and theatre from Northeastern Illinois University. He also has an Associate in Applied Science degree in business management from Triton College. Abbott has been interviewed on MSNBC, Bill Martinez Live, WOSU Radio in Ohio, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's 'Unsolved' podcast, WLS-TV (ABC) in Chicago, WMTV (NBC) and WISC-TV (CBS) in Madison, Wis., and has been quoted in The New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, and other media outlets. In 2005 and 2006, he was among the first writers to expose former cardinal Theodore McCarrick's abuse of power with and sexual harassment of seminarians. He can be reached at

(Note: I welcome thoughtful feedback and story ideas. If you want our correspondence to remain confidential, please specify as such in your initial email to me. However, I reserve the right to forward and/or publish emails that are accusatory, insulting or threatening in nature, even if they're marked confidential. Also, if you give me permission to publish a quote of yours, please do not contact me at a later time to request that I delete your name. Only in limited circumstances will I quote anonymous sources. Thank you and God bless!)


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