I had hesitated to run a follow-up to my SNAP post of four days ago until resolving an email correspondence with David Clohessy, the leader of that group.

I will not make the contents of that correspondence public, but suffice to say that he endeavored to provide specifics to justify the negative press statement SNAP issued against Archbishop Burke, and I endeavored to show him that his specifics did not prove his point, and, to the contrary, showed that SNAP couldn’t prove its assertions and clearly owed a public apology to the Archbishop.

After several emails back and forth, that started out fairly positively, we agreed to disagree. I still maintain that SNAP cannot back its claims against Abp. Burke and should issue the apology.

It seems that Bill Donohue of the Catholic League agrees. The title of this post, suggested by a reader, comes from the following statement:

ARCHBISHOP BURKE UNFAIRLY MALIGNED

July 3, 2008

On June 29, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an editorial on the papal appointment of St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke to head the Vatican’s highest court, the Apostolic Signatura. The mostly favorable editorial ended with a startling paragraph that cited accusations made by Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). The group charged that “dozens of proven, admitted, and credibly accused predator priests have been welcomed here.” It also said that “there’s not a bishop in America who has imported so many pedophile priests into his diocese as Burke has.” (Emphasis is ours.)

Catholic League president Bill Donohue commented as follows:

“When I read the operative verbs ‘welcomed’ and ‘imported,’ I knew it wasn’t true and I knew that the St. Louis Post-Dispatch had been had. No bishop ever welcomes or imports troubled priests into his diocese. What many do is treat priests for behavioral disorders at various centers. That is exactly what they are supposed to do—give men who need treatment the help they need.

“As it so happens, there are two treatment facilities located in the Archdiocese of St. Louis—one in Jefferson County and one in Franklin County. The Archdiocese neither owns nor operates them and both were built before Burke became the Archbishop of St. Louis.

“I’ve been waiting all week for SNAP to send us the evidence that the Archbishop ‘welcomed’ and ‘imported’ molesting priests into his diocese. But it hasn’t been able to deliver. All that exists is the vicious interpretation by SNAP.

“This is anti-Catholicism writ large. What we have is an advocacy group that is going broke because it can’t get any more money from steeple-chasing lawyers and a prominent newspaper swallowing its moonshine. The newspaper owes Archbishop Burke a public apology and SNAP needs to take an ethics class or shut down altogether.”