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Transparency for thee, but not for me?

The dubious, even disingenuous, methods used by David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), are finally coming to light, as reported by CNA:

The leader of a group that works with clergy sex abuse victims admitted during a recent deposition that the organization has published false information and that he is unsure about whether the group employs licensed counselors.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, known as SNAP, was deposed on Jan. 2 in Clayton, Mo. amid accusations that the group had printed restricted information in a press release.

The accusations centered around concerns that an attorney violated a court gag order by revealing information about an abuse lawsuit to the organization.

Clohessy was ordered by a judge to answer questions in an out-of-court testimony that may later be used for legal purposes in an ongoing attempt to determine whether the gag order had been violated.

In the text of the deposition – posted online by The Media Report on March 1 – Clohessy was asked by attorneys, “Has SNAP to your knowledge ever issued a press release that contained false information?”

“Sure,” he responded, without offering any defense or explanation.

Dave F. Pierre, Jr., of The Media Report, who broke the story, writes:

The deposition exposes Clohessy as steadfastly refusing to answer many of the questions asked of him and declining to hand over important documents ordered by a judge. Clohessy did this despite losing a number of appeals before being forced to be deposed.

For years, Clohessy has been incessantly railing against Catholic Church officials for alleged "lack of transparency," "hardball tactics," and "avoiding tough questions." Meanwhile, it is these very traits that characterize Clohessy's January deposition appearance.

Clohessy repeatedly refused to answer many questions based on the objections from him and his lawyers that SNAP falls under the privacy protections provided in the "Missouri Rape Crisis Center Statute."

Read the entire post. Pierre has been writing a monthly column on sex abuse scandals for Catholic World Report, with a focus on how the media reports on the topic. His next column will appear tomorrow; it takes a close look at the failure of the media to provide vital information in the case involving an accusation of rape made against Fr. James Brennan of Philadelphia.

 
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Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight.
 
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