For immediate release: Friday, October 11, 2013
Statement by David Clohessy, Executive Director, SNAP, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, 7234 Arsenal Street, St. Louis MO 63143 (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com)
A priest who was found guilty of child sex abuse by a jury is still a priest, is unsupervised, lives in a $500,000 lakeside home and gets extra payments above his retirement.
Minnesota Public Radio disclosed that Fr. Robert Kapoun, who was found guilty of abuse in 1996, also spends half of each year living in Florida.
Archbishop Nienstedt's action in this case is the perfect storm of recklessness callousness and deceit.
It's reckless to let a proven serial predator priest live unsupervised.
It's callous to give a proven serial predator priest bonus pay.
And it's deceitful to do all this secretly, without telling parishioners, parents, the public and Fr. Kapoun's victims.
Here are the facts: A jury found that Fr. Kapoun repeatedly molested Dale Scheffler and awarded Scheffler $1 million. Later, an appellate court overturned the verdict because of the statute of limitations. In an extraordinarily cruel move, archdiocesan officials sent Scheffler a bill for $6,019.10 for its legal expenses.
Meanwhile, records show that Catholic officials let Kapoun retire early and sent him funds above his pension that totaled about $160,000 by 2012. According to MPR, Kapoun gets $957.50 every month — plus his regular pension checks of $1,510.50.
Several accused priests who've received payments in addition to regular pension checks, according to two former top church officials. Those payments reportedly total $200,000 to $250,000 a year.
According to MPR, Fr. Kapoun says he is "very happy."
Let’s hope Minnesota Catholics aren’t very happy.