PA--Judge: Trial vs. Catholic officials will go forward; Victims respond

For immediate release: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790314 645 5915 home,

We’re grateful that the trial of three Pennsylvania Catholic officials who repeatedly ignored and hid child sex abuse reports against a cleric will go forward.

Church officials claimed they did nothing wrong because they sent Brother Stephen Baker to a doctor who essentially cleared him to stay on the job. We’re not buying it. We’re glad the judge didn’t either.

Catholic bureaucrats have made this claim about thousands of predators: “A doctor said he was ok.” But in most cases, bishops carefully pick devout Catholic doctors who will provide the “diagnosis” bishops seek. Or they give doctors inaccurate and inadequate information about the predator. Or they pick general practitioners who know little or nothing about sexual deviants. So it’s “garbage in, garbage out.”

Church officials often use these carefully-chosen professionals for “cover” to keep sexually troubled priests, nuns, brothers and seminarians in parishes and schools, and later feign shock when abuse reports surface.

We are saddened but not surprised that Franciscan officials didn’t tell principal William Rushin about Brother Baker’s crimes. And we hope that anyone with knowledge or suspicions of wrongdoing by Franciscans, especially Anthony Criscitelli, Giles Schinelli and Robert D’Aversa will speak up now.

No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in the Altoona area - to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,


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  • Michael Ference
    commented 2016-04-27 20:28:03 -0500
    It is a coincident that Allegheny County DA Zappala’s former law partner Charles Porter is representing one of the friars accused of covering up for sexual abuse crimes.

    I should mention that Charles Porter in the son of Pittsburgh mob underboss and drug dealer Chuckie Porter. Chuckie was given a free pass out of federal prison for ratting on some Philly mobsters.

    Needless to say, no attempts were made to even the score with Chuckie.

    Several reporters from outside the Pittsburgh area have been questioning me about any links between Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the Pittsburgh Diocese and Allegheny County DA Stephen Zappala, Jr.

    It’s almost as if, these reporters believe that DA Zappala has been helping the Pittsburgh Diocese cover-up crimes against innocent children perpetrated by Pittsburgh Diocesan clerics.

    Is it possible that DA Zappala would do something like this.

    I recently contacted the US Attorneys office about my concerns that DA Zappala may be part of a Synchronized Crime network. I was advised that an agent would be contacting me, but so far, nothing to report.

    Read for yourself and judge for yourself:…/pittsburgh-crime
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