PA--Victims applaud federal probe of Catholic officials

For immediate release: Friday, April 1, 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, [email protected])

We’re grateful that a US attorney in Pennsylvania is talking about using RICO laws against Catholic officials.

This law, known as RICO, the Racketeering Influence and Corruption Organization Act, usually applies to criminal organizations. But we believe it can and should be used against bishops and other church staff who repeatedly endanger kids, deceive parishioners, move predators, hide evidence and refuse to call law enforcement about known and suspected clergy child sex crimes and cover ups.

We agree with U.S. Attorney David Hickton who said that people have “a hollow sense that there is justice that has not been dispensed” in clergy sex abuse and cover up cases. That “sense” is based on reality. Despite more than 6,400 accused child molesting US Catholic clerics, only two US Catholic officials have been convicted for concealing their crimes.

We urge others in law enforcement to consider RICO and other charges – endangering kids, obstructing justice, destroying evidence, intimidating victims, threatening whistleblowers and failure to report abuse – against current and former Catholic officials who put their comfort and careers ahead of the safety of innocent kids and vulnerable adults.

And we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions – especially in Altoona– to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling journalists, get justice by calling attorneys, and get comfort 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, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdo[email protected]), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,[email protected])


U.S. Attorney: Clergy Accused Of Sexual Abuse Could Face Consequences Under Civil RICO Statute

March 31, 2016 9:57 PM By Andy Sheehan

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The grand jury report sent shockwaves through the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese with revelations that 50 priests and religious leaders allegedly sexually abused hundreds of child victims.

But because of the statute of limitations, no criminal charges were filed.

“It leaves people with a hollow sense that there is justice that has not been dispensed or justice denied,” said U.S. Attorney David Hickton.

But now, Hickton says a federal investigation may go further than state prosecutors in seeking justice.

He tells KDKA that his office may address  . . . 

Read full article here 

Showing 3 comments

Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
Secured Via NationBuilder
  • Jeb Barrett
    commented 2016-04-05 02:45:57 -0500
    If wet ever saw the kind of transparency and accountability promised by the US bishops, they would have long a ago opened their “secret records,” revealing countless unreported cases of priest abuse of children. Systematic cover-up and denial worldwide placed thousands of youngsters at risk while Catholic hierarchy waited for archaic, predator friendly statutes to run, while visions continued to carry shame and style blame. That was and still is criminal.
  • Michael Ference
    commented 2016-04-03 15:33:23 -0500
    Whether anyone wants to admit it or not; we are winning the battle in PA.

    While the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette still chooses to partner with the Pittsburgh Diocese and the Zappala Crime Family/Terrorist Group and allow their reporters to continue to cover-up for the crimes of dysfunctional sex freaks; we continue to gain ground.

    All the national news reports are focusing in on the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese where synchronized crime destroyed the lives of innocent children. I coined the phrase synchronized crime to describe the absolute loyalty and submission of government and law enforcement officials to a criminal enterprise. In this case the criminal enterprise is the Roman Coward Church.

    There are eight diocese in the Commonwealth of PA. Grand juries have proven two out of two to be worthless cesspools filled with dysfunctional sex freaks.

    We have six more to investigate. I strongly suggest we start with the Pittsburgh Diocese; the others will tumble one after the other.

    I’m asking all my friends on facebook to do whatever it is that you do best to expose the Pittsburgh Diocese.

    Keep in mind, once the Pittsburgh Diocese falls, the rest of the church goes with it.

    The Roman Coward Church is not going to change until we expose the Pittsburgh Diocese.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2016-04-03 15:03:32 -0500

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant