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)
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.