MO--Another child sex suit vs. archdiocese; SNAP blasts secrecy
For immediate release: Friday, Aug. 7
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 503 0003, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
“Openness and transparency.” That’s what Archbishop Robert Carlson keeps promising. But he keeps breaking this promise.
In 2009 (the year Carlson came to St. Louis), alleged child sex crimes at a Catholic school were reported to police. Carlson and his colleagues kept silent.
Last month, another child sex abuse and cover up suit was filed against the archdiocese. Carlson and his colleagues kept silent.
That heartbreaking lawsuit says that a 14 year old girl was repeatedly abused by a Catholic coach. She’s now 20 and is sitting in prison because she turned to drugs to numb her pain. Our hearts ache for her.
Coach Martin Weiler reportedly hurt the girl at Valle Catholic school in Ste. Genevieve between 2007-2009. He committed suicide.
The suit says Weiler took kids “to his home” and had “brazenly close, inappropriate relationships” with kids. It also says that that other church and school staff “observed Weiler’s “interest” in kids and knew that he “spent time alone” with youngsters. (There is reportedly one other victim.)
Will we ever see Catholic officials here voluntarily disclose a single child sex abuse case by a church or school employee? For six years, Carlson hid Weiler’s crimes. When will he find the courage to stop his self-serving secrecy?
NOTE – The alleged victim is represented by Webster Groves attorneys James Onder and William Wylie Blair (314 963 9000).
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 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)