This is an utterly heartbreaking case brought by incredibly kind but wounded parents on behalf of their child and other children who have been assaulted by priests. We are deeply moved by and grateful for their tremendous courage.
For years, these parents fought valiantly to help and save their son. They have suffered immeasurably. We hope and believe this action will bring them some measure of comfort and justice. Because they are speaking up and exposing corruption, they are helping to protect others. From this day forward, they can take some consolation in knowing that they’re doing all they can to prevent more devastating clergy sex crimes and cover ups.
Kuchar is in his 40s. He could still be charged, convicted and kept away from kids. There are, we believe, several of his victims who are young enough to still pursue criminal cases. For the safety of children, we desperately hope they will do so.
And we hope that every single current and former church employee or member who saw, suspected or suffered crimes or misdeeds – by Kuchar or other clerics – will find courage and speak up. That’s what protects kids – when adults care enough to call police and prosecutors about known or suspected child sex crimes.
About a year before our son died by suicide, he told us that he had been raped by a priest while at seminary camp when he was a child. We were horrified and shocked that he had been carrying this terrible secret for years. We were devastated when the depression he had battled since his abuse finally overtook him, and he ended his life at 21.
It has been almost 4 years since his death, and we struggle with the part the Archdiocese of St Louis played in the death of our son. We attempted to resolve this by going to the Archdiocese review board, and were dismissed. It is our hope that by filing this lawsuit perhaps other victims will hear our pain. Hopefully it will reassure them that they did nothing wrong. The fault lies with the church officials who failed to keep our son and other victims of predatory priests safe.
No amount of money can bring our son back or make his suffering any less horrific, but it may save another child from becoming a victim of sexual abuse by predatory priests that continue to be protected by the Archdiocese. We hope other victims hear about our son’s tragic death and are given the courage to come forward and tell their stories and begin to heal.