US Star Whistle-Blower Clohessy on Sexual Abuse and the Difficulty of Coming to Terms
(This is the English translation of an article that appeared Sunday in the Kurier in Vienna)
He sat on the couch with US talkshow star Oprah Winfrey, he was a guest on Good Morning America, and even the The New York Times Magazine dedicated an extensive reportage to him. This man who has received so much media attention in the United States in recent years is David Clohessy, the spokesman of the NGO SNAP (see Info), which has taken up the cause of victims of sexual abuses in the church. He is the star among the investigators of sexual abuse in the USA.
Yet, a star without airs. Clohessy, 56, has been fighting for years against the sexual abuse of children by Catholic clergy. As a young boy, he himself was sexually abused by a priest. His brother, as well, was one pastor who allegedly came too close to children. „Clohessy's calm manner makes him one of the most credible spokesmen for the victims of sexual abuse," wrote the Drury University Magazine.
On Friday night Clohessy was a guest in the KURIER editorial office. He spoke about his own path of suffering, his attempts to break through the system of hush-ups and suppression - and about the situation in Austria.
KURIER: As a child, you yourself were abused by a priest.