PA--Victims urge US Attny: No consent decree with church

For immediate release: Saturday, April 9, 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 urge a US attorney to NOT enter into any “consent decrees” with church officials and we applaud him for considering RICO charges against them.

Last week, U.S. Attorney David Hickton said “the ongoing investigation concerns whether diocesan officials engaged in a pattern of criminal activity that would fall under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, commonly referred to as RICO,” reported KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh.

He also talked of possible “injunctive relief," a court order, or “consent decree,” a voluntary agreement. In our experience, voluntary agreements with Catholic officials about clergy sex crimes and cover ups are always problematic. They often make promises to evade serious consequences but begin backsliding and undermining their pledges quickly but quietly.

Examples abound but were most clear perhaps in New Hampshire and Phoenix.

We urge Hickson to pursue court injunctions rather than consent decrees. And we urge anyone with information or suspicions to call him or others in law enforcement immediately.

No matter what secular 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 Pennsylvania – 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,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,, Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747,

Feds May Seek Racketeering Suit for Clergy Abuse in Diocese


A federal prosecutor may file a racketeering lawsuit against a Roman Catholic diocese where a state grand jury found two former bishops helped cover up the sexual abuse of hundreds of children by more than 50 clergy over a 40-year period.

The ongoing investigation of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese grew out of  . . .

Read full article here

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