Kickbacks for suing the Church? Lawsuit claims major misbehavior at SNAP


Chicago, Ill., Jan 19, 2017 / 05:02 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- A former employee of the controversial Survivors’ Network of those Abused by Priests has filed a lawsuit claiming wrongful termination for challenging the organization’s misbehavior, including alleged kickbacks from attorneys who were suing the Church on behalf of sexual abuse victims.

In the lawsuit, Gretchen Rachel Hammond, a past development director of SNAP, claimed to have been fired after coming to learn “SNAP does not focus on protecting or helping survivors – it exploits them.”

Although the plaintiff “had explicitly stated to potential donors that SNAP did not engage in kickback schemes,” Hammond’s discoveries while employed there allegedly showed otherwise – and the reputed proof is on an external hard drive.

“SNAP routinely accepts financial kickbacks from attorneys in the form of ‘donations.’ In exchange for the kickbacks, SNAP refers survivors as potential clients to attorneys, who then file lawsuits on behalf of the survivors against the Catholic Church,” the lawsuit charges. “These cases often settle, to the financial benefit of the attorneys and, at times, to the financial benefit of SNAP, which has received direct payments from survivors’ settlements.”


Oh snap.

Waiting to see what other information comes out.


Not surprised :frowning:


Manufactured anti-Catholic activism? Who’d have thunk it? :smiley:


If this is substantiated, I think it should raise enough reasonable doubt to cast doubt on all allegations:

In support of Hammond’s allegation of a kickback scheme, the lawsuit cites the following data.
In 2007, SNAP raised $437,407 in donations, 81 percent of which came from lawyers.
In 2008, donations totaled $753,596, 65 percent of which came from lawyers.
In 2011, lawyers contributed 56 percent of $676,923 in donations.

If so, then SNAP will have proven to be an enemy of those who have legitimately been abused.


How much publicity goes to cases where the accusations are proven false? Have you ever heard of the case of Father Thomas White of the Joliet, Illinois diocese? His accuser was a complete fraud whose case was so destroyed by investigators that he even agreed to reimburse legal expenses for the diocese, although I doubt he ever did pay. He was not a very good scammer because he already had two felony fraud convictions on his record and a third felony conviction for fraud or perjury could have meant life in prison as an habitual offender.

Father White had his first assignment in my parish and returned to concelebrate the funerals of both my parents. We never even had to ask. I would not have believed an accusation against him even with videotaped evidence. Father White showed great dignity in bearing the unjust suspension and charity in forgiving his accuser. He passed on to his eternal reward a few years ago.

The failed scammer should have done better research and accused the former Father Myles White. He served at the same parish and was convicted in criminal court in two different states with videotaped evidence. This was not a case of mistaken identity just for the record. It was a total lie made up from scratch. The accuser did not live in the area when Myles White was there.


Gee, how surprising, NOT.
Geez is all I can say. Pathetic.


Yeah, that diocese really had a tough time with sexual abuse allegations and a big cover up by Bishop Joseph Imesch, right?
He apparently transferred at least four accused priests to other parishes without alerting parishioners…and brought in a convicted child molester, according to online reports. (I’m trying to confirm that, tho)
Then came his damaging speech to students at Elmhurst College that some victims are not traumatized by sexual abuse, and some priests who molest should be allowed back into ministry after therapy.

By the end of 2002, at least 18 priests in the diocese were accused of sexual abuse, ten were removed from the diocese 2002-03, and several were removed after they’d been transferred to other areas.
The Diocese paid more than $2.6 million 1983-2002, made up of $1.7 million paid to victims of sexual abuse by priests, with an additional $936,000 paid by insurance.

In regard to your mention of Father Thomas White, I can’t find much publicity at all on his 2004 case except mentions that the accuser recanted his claims and he was exonerated and reinstated at his church within a few months.

Which media covered details of his story?

I also can’t find anywhere that his accuser was linked to SNAP at all, as per the OP.
Was he?



First, your information about Bishop Imesch is correct. His handling of the abusive priests was disgraceful, and even worse than what you said. Still worse was the conduct of the Vicar General and auxiliary Bishop Daniel Ryan, whom Bishop Imesch inherited when he was appointed ordinary of the Joliet Diocese. I could tell you much more about some of the abusive priests because I was in the seminary with them.

The only reason I posted here is that I want justice for both the abused and the falsely accused. That is the meaning of justice. Justice is supposed to be the same for everyone. The statue of justice is blindfolded, remember? My problem with SNAP is that they are interested in vengeance rather than justice, and they have been irresponsible in many cases.

The information on Father Thomas White was barely covered at all in the media because the facts did not match the narrative they wanted, much like the false accusations made by Tawana Brawley, and those against the Duke lacrosse team. My family and Father White’s family were personal friends for a long time, so I was privy to a lot of information that was never in the press.


An interesting tidbit I didn’t see in the first round of stories on this lawsuit: the movie Spotlight prompted her to come forward.

Boston Globe: Suit alleges anti-clergy sex abuse group got kickbacks from lawyers

"Howard, Hammond’s attorney, said she waited three years before suing because she initially wanted to put the matter behind her, but changed her mind after seeing the movie “Spotlight,” which chronicles the Globe’s investigation of clergy sex abuse.

“After moving on and seeing ‘Spotlight’ she decided that what was going on at SNAP was wrong and what happened to her was wrong and she decided to take action,” Howard said."


Another case of an innocent priest attacked by SNAP.

The Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, or SNAP, released a statement Friday disputing Jiang’s innocence and calling on more people to stand up against him and the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

“This is not going to go away,” Hannegan said. “SNAP is going to keep attacking. We want to see Father’s name fully cleared, and the legal system isn’t set up to do that.”

As Trader said, this just hurts those who really were abused by priests.

David Clohessy, head of SNAP, is from St. Louis. He is a very angry man and needs our prayers.


Just an as FYI, Clohessy resigned after this lawsuit was filed.

Chicago Tribune: Victims advocacy group announces leader’s resignation in wake of lawsuit


Yes, thanks. David Clohessy is the founder of SNAP. He was also a victim of clerical abuse. He needs our prayers.


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