Prayer event for arrested priest is cancelled, SNAP Responds
Victims want pastor & organizer disciplined
They tell Carlson: Stop tolerating hurtful actions
Group blasts archdiocese’s “good cop-bad cop” routine
SNAP: "Archbishop takes 'high road,' but his staff & flock attack victims"
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose that a Cathedral prayer event, for the “defense and exoneration” of an arrested local predator priest, was just cancelled.
Victims will urge St. Louis’ archbishop to
--punish the layman who organized it and pastor who approved it, and
--teach his flock about how to act appropriately when child sex charges surface.
They will also prod:
--anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered the priest’s crimes to contact law enforcement immediately, and
--parishioners and the public to keep open minds and avoid taking actions and making comments that might discourage any other victims, witnesses or whistleblowers from stepping forward.
Tuesday, July 16 at 1:00 p.m.
On the sidewalk outside the St. Louis Cathedral Basilica, Lindell & Newstead in the CWE
Two-three victims of clergy sex crimes who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
For weeks or months, the Cathedral Young Adults group planned an event to “offer our prayers for the Defense and Exoneration” of Fr. Xiu Hui Joseph Jiang.” It was to be held tonight but was cancelled late yesterday after a reporter asked Archbishop Robert Carlson’s public relations staff about it.
Copies of the invitation and cancellation – and an email from Carlson’s PR staffer - are here:
Last June (2012), Fr. Jiang was removed from his post as associate pastor at St. Louis Cathedral Basilica parish on Lindell. He was criminally charged with fondling a teenage girl (under 17) on four occasions earlier in the year.
SNAP members are outraged that Carlson lets his employees and parishioners “re-victimize, intimidate and attack victims” on church property at church-sponsored events publicized through church bulletins and on church websites.” This event, and similar ones held over the years by church staff and members, “is basically subtle witness tampering and obstruction of justice,” SNAP maintains.
Since the evidence against Fr. Jiang is strong, his crimes are recent and his victim is young, SNAP wants Carlson to publicly discipline Cathedral pastor Msgr. Joseph Pins (314-373-8200) and layman Christopher Rubie. Rubie organized the event and Pins likely gave approval (or at least should have known what was happening at his parish), SNAP says.
SNAP has repeatedly prodded Carlson to tell his flock to support accused priests privately, not publicly. They have asked him, without success, to put this flier in local churches: http://www.snapnetwork.org/links_homepage/when_priest_accused.htm
Evidence in the case includes “text messages from the victim’s phone and a recorded voice mail from Fr. Jiang.” He faces of “witness tampering” and “endangering a child.” Both are felonies.
Fr. Jiang was ordained a priest by Carlson at the Cathedral in May 2010. Before that, he was a deacon at the Cathedral.
Fr. Jiang’s criminal trial was originally set for March 2013 and is now scheduled for October. It was originally to take place in Lincoln County but has been moved to Pike County.
The prosecutors are Casey Brooks and Leah Askey (636 528 8571). Fr. Jiang’s lawyer is Paul D’Agrosa (314 725 8019, Paul@wolffdagrosa.com).
Fr. Jiang is 31 years old and a native of China. A photo of Fr. Jiang is available at BishopAccountability.org or http://stlouisreview.com/article/2010-05-18/introducing-our-new-0
David Clohessy (314 566 9790, SNAPclohessy@aol.com), Judy Jones 636-433-2511, 314-974-5003, SNAPjudy@gmail.com)