MO- Another St. L predator priest “outed”
For immediate release: Thursday, Aug. 7, 2014
Another predator priest has been “outed". But more than 50 St. Louis predator priests identities are still under wraps because Catholic officials continue to protect wrongdoers rather than kids.
We hope that anyone who saw, suspected or suffered crimes by Fr. Alexander P. Lippert will come forward, get help, and call police (so those who may have shielded this priest or destroyed evidence or intimidated witnesses or obstructed justice or lied to authorities might be prosecuted.)
Local Catholic officials were forced recently to disclose that there are at least 115 credibly accused child molesting clerics in the archdiocese. Now, largely because of the courage of victims, St. Louisans know the names of about 50 predators. (See BishopAccountability.org) So most child molesting clerics are still being protected by Archbishop Robert Carlson and his staff.
So today's disclosure is a tiny, belated and begrudging step forward down a long, long road. And disclosing the identity of predators is a bare minimum first step. Catholic officials – past and present – must do much more to warn parishioners and the public about child molesting clerics and aggressively seek out and support those who could put those predators behind bars – victims, witnesses and whistleblowers.
Finally, Carlson claims that his staff has “sent an announcement for the bulletins of the parishes where Father Lippert served or resided.” That's not good enough. He should order parish staff to post those announcements on parish websites, publish them in parish bulletins, and read them aloud from parish pulpits. And he should lead by example, by listing all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics on his archdiocesan website, like some 30 other US bishops have done.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.