For immediate release: Tuesday November 19, 2013
Statement by Barbara Dorris, Outreach Director, 314-862-7688 SNAPdorris@gmail.com
An unusual new clergy child sex abuse and cover up suit charges that a Catholic facility is negligent for enabling predator priests to be put back on the job, sometimes even after the clerics admit to sexually assaulting kids. We applaud this novel approach. Kids are safer when all institutions the protect pedophiles are held responsible, not just the sex offenders’ direct supervisors.
This is the second time in a week that a Twin Cities area predator priest who admitted molesting kids and was put back on the job is in the news. (The other: Fr. Clarence Vavra)
St. Luke’s has evaluated and housed hundreds of credibly accused child molesting clerics, enabling them to flee and stay hidden, often until a controversy blows over. It has likely seen more priests accused of molesting kids than any other church facility, and has dealt with many of the most notorious serial clergy predators.
St. Luke's has often refused to tell police when its “patients” tell its “therapists” about child sex crimes. St. Luke officials claim they are not legally required to make such reports.
In many cases, predators have left St. Luke’s and been assigned to a parish only to continue molesting children.
There’s a role in this horrific and on-going crisis for centers that evaluate and treat child molesting clerics. Those centers, however, should be remote, independent, and transparent.
But despite pledges of reform, Catholic officials keep using the same therapists and facilities they’ve always used. Why? Because they’re less interested in predators’ treatment and more interested in damage control. They send child molesting clerics to places like St. Luke’s largely for their own benefit, because St. Luke’s helps keep a lid on the abuse, mollify outraged parishioners and keep the offender away from the media and sometimes law enforcement.