MO--Marianists settle with Chaminade sex abuse victim
For immediate release: Friday, October 9
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, SNAP outreach director (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org)
Another settlement of another child sex abuse and cover up case involving Chaminade is being disclosed.
It involves Br. Louis Meinhardt. His crimes were hidden by Marianist officials for decades. They only surfaced in 2011 thanks to a brave survivor (who had first reported Br. Meinhardt to church officials in 2003.). Br. Meinhardt worked at the school from 1958 to 1982 and died in 1990.
Now, Br. Meinhardt is accused of molesting at least 15 kids at Chaminade.
We’ve said this before, but we’ll say it again: There has likely been more child sexual abuse at Chaminade than at any school we know of across Missouri.
Let's look at the other predators the Marianists have let teach at Chaminade:
There's Fr. William Christensen, who's accused of molesting at least 30 kids in Bangladesh (and may still be there now).
There's Br. William Mueller, who's accused of molesting dozens of kids in Missouri, Colorado and Texas (and still lives in Texas now).
And there’s Fr. Robert R. Osborne, Fr. Daniel A. Triulzi, Brother Tony Pistone and Brother Woulfe - all proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting clerics who worked at the school.
And these are just the ones we know about.
(Here's the good news: as best we can tell, another Marianist, Fr. Charles H. Miller never worked there. But he molested a St. Louis teenage girl. And where is Fr. Miller now? He's working for the Marianists in the literal and figurative power center of Catholicism: Rome.)
Are there predators on the payroll now at Chaminade? Who knows? The Marianists will of course deny this. But given their long and continuing reckless and callous pattern of secrecy, how can they be trusted?
The absolute least Marianist officials can do now is to permanently post the names, photos and work histories of their child molesting clerics on their website and the websites of the schools they run – Chaminade, Vianney, and others.
This simple, cheap step would protect kids. It would show that maybe Catholic officials take seriously their repeated pledges to be “open” about clergy sex crimes. Roughly 30 Catholic bishops have done this (almost always under intense public pressure).
But they won't. They'll continue hiding behind their public relations staff and their expensive lawyers, saying and doing the absolute bare minimum and trying to exploit every possible legal maneuver and loophole so their cover-ups remain covered up.
Shame on them.
Since they have done and are doing so little to protect the vulnerable and heal the wounded, it's more important than ever that every single person who has seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups at Marianist institutions to find the courage to speak up, get help, expose wrongdoers and prevent future crimes and cover ups.
Finally, we applaud this victim who was smart and brave enough to seek justice and expose wrongdoers. We are confident that his courage will inspire others who were assaulted and are suffering to reach out for help from independent sources.
(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)
Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, email@example.com, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell, bdorris@SNAPnetwork.org), Barbara Blaine (312-399-4747, firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.