Editorial: St. Louis victims have waited long enough for findings on clergy sexual abuse.
For months now, the St. Louis Archdiocese has been saying it intends to follow the lead of its counterparts around the nation and publicly identify its clergy who have been credibly accused of the sexual abuse of children. Since last year, the Missouri Attorney General’s office, under two consecutive office-holders, has said it will complete and release an independent investigation of the issue statewide. To date, neither promise has been fulfilled.
Officials of both the archdiocese and the attorney general’s office told us last week that they remain committed to completing and releasing their respective investigations. But neither office could even hint at a timeline nor justify why the final reports have to be completed before the release of the information confirmed so far can begin.
Why the hurry? Because, with the continued veil of mystery over this issue, there’s no way for the public to be sure that some of those accused aren’t still in positions to commit further abuse. Assurances that the church has already purged any current threats don’t inspire much confidence when they’re accompanied by the same vague vows of sometime-in-the-future disclosure that we’ve been hearing for months.
After an August 2018 grand jury report alleging more than 300 Catholic clergy in Pennsylvania had sexually abused more than 1,000 children over decades, legal authorities in various states have stepped up to assess the situations in their own jurisdictions. In Illinois alone, then-Attorney General Lisa Madigan last year reported accusations against some 500 priests, far more than church officials had acknowledged.
Many bishops around the country have also provided public disclosure, to varying degrees. Two of Missouri’s four dioceses — Jefferson Cityand Springfield-Cape Girardeau — have already released lists of priests facing substantiated allegations.
Some activists say that information lacked adequate detail, but at least they released it. Missouri’s remaining two dio...
Join us at the 2019 SNAP National Conference!
The annual SNAP National Conference is your opportunity to connect with other survivors and advocates from around the country for a weekend of learning, healing and fun. This year's conference will be held from July 26-28 at the Westin Alexandria Hotel. Don't wait! Register for the conference today and be sure reserve your room at the Westin using our special discounted rate!
Stay tuned for more details included keynotes, workshop highlights, and more.Register Today