Catholics urge judge to “hold firm”
They want “openness” about predator priests
Groups to archbishop: “Start obeying court order”
“Our donations should not go to church lawyers,” they say
“Nor should our contributions finance more hurtful secrecy”
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, local Catholics and child sex abuse victims will call upon
--a St. Louis archbishop to stop his “long and expensive fight” against a court order commanding him to release records of alleged predator priests, and
--a St. Louis judge to “hold firm” and insist on such disclosure immediately and hold the archbishop in contempt.
TODAY, Tuesday, Dec. 31 at 1:00 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the “new” Cathedral, 4400 Lindell at Taylor in the city’s Central West End
A small group of Catholics who belong to three organizations - Voice of the Faithful, the Association for the Rights of Catholics, and the Faithful of Southern Illinois - along with two-three clergy sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
More than six months ago, a local judge ordered St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson to turn over, privately, records about proven and alleged child molesting local clerics. But Carlson has essentially violated that order by providing only a little bit of the information. He refuses to provide the names of proven, admitted and accused predators, despite a clear command by Judge Robert Dierker to do so.
In contrast, the alleged victim in the case has complied with Dierker’s orders. She has provided Catholic officials hundreds of pages of her private emails and her medical records.
The case revolves around accusations that Fr. Joseph D. Ross repeatedly sexually abused a then-five year old girl for years at St. Cronan’s Catholic parish in the Grove neighborhood. She is now 20 and in 2011, she filed a lawsuit as a “Jane Doe.” The suit charges that top archdiocesan staffers knew that Ross was a convicted predator yet moved him to her parish without warning anyone about him.