Seven new accused clerics in St. Louis are "outed"

Seven accused clerics who spent time in St. Louis area are "outed"

Their ties to MO were previously unknown

Last week, they were exposed in big California abuse report

SNAP also writes to all Missouri prosecutors seeking their help

AG Hawley claims he cannot subpoena records without one of them

WHAT

Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will 

  • disclose the names of seven priests exposed in last week's California abuse report  who spent time in St. Louis (at SLU and elsewhere),
  • reveal their new request to all 114 Missouri prosecutors to launch grand juries and ask for help from the Missouri attorney general so he can expand his clergy sex abuse inquiry, and 
  • urge top St. Louis Catholic officials to follow the lead of of more than 50 dioceses and religious orders who have released lists of proven, admitted and "credibly accused" child molesting clerics

 

WHEN

Thursday, Nov. 1 at 2:00 p.m. 

 

WHERE

On the sidewalk outside the St. Louis Circuit Attorney's office, 1114 Market St. (Carnahan Courthouse)

 

WHO 

Three or four victims and advocates who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, including a St. Louis man who is the volunteer Missouri State Director.

 

WHY

At least seven accused priests who came to or were sent to the St. Louis area were publicly identified last week when a law firm issued a report there "outing" more than 200 clerics accused of abuse. Their names have never before been made public here. 

One of the clerics was here as recently as 2010. Four of them lived, worked or studied at St. Louis University. Three of them lived primarily at facilities where troubled priests are sent (St. Michael's Center in St. Louis, St. Clement Health Care Center in Ligouri, RECON, also called the Wounded Brothers Project, between Robertsville and Dittmer).   

Any of them, SNAP contends, could have hurt local kids and helped in local churches, parochial schools or agencies, especially on a short term, "fill in" basis when archdiocesan staff were on vacation or around busy church holy days. SNAP notes that none of the treatment facilities are "locked down" and usually let clerics come and go with little or no supervision, so SNAP fears some of the priests may have molested St. Louis area children.

Archdiocesan officials will likely make two claims. First, they will assert "none of these men, according to our records, were granted permission to function here as priests." But this is a dodge, SNAP contends, because they had access to local kids regardless of whether they had actual archdiocesan approval to function as priests here. Also, SNAP stresses, it takes only seconds for a predator to shove his hands down a boy's pants or his tongue in a girl's mouth, with or without some formal permission slip to be in the area.

And they will claim that since some of the clerics belong to religious orders (like the Jesuits or the Redemptorists), the archdiocese had no control over them. SNAP charges that this is both untrue and irrelevant. It makes no practical difference which church official supervises a predator or signs his paycheck. And ultimately, an archbishop is responsible for everything Catholic in his area.

The seven clerics are Fr. Anthony Slane, Br. John Moriarty, Fr. Mario Cimmarrusti, Fr. Jerold W.  Lindner,* Fr. James Glenn Murray,* Fr. John Harrington,* Br. John Rodrigues Moniz, and Fr. Thomas J. Naughton.* (*denotes presence at St. Louis University)

SNAP fears that a local victim or victims of one or more of these clerics may still be "suffering in shame, silence and self-blame." Archbishop Robert Carlson should "aggressively find and help them," SNAP contends. It is also possible, the group maintains, that a local "victim, witness or whistle blower might be able to help law enforcement prosecute one of them, and should also be prodded to speak up now so the vulnerable can be protected and the wounded can be healed."

In September, SNAP held a similar event "outing" nine accused Pennsylvania priests identified in a widely-covered scathing grand jury report there

2)  Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley claims he cannot use subpoena powers in the probe unless a local prosecutor asks first. SNAP is skeptical of that claim, but is writing to the state prosecutors' association urging one or more of Missouri's county prosecutors to "step up," launch a county grand jury and then seek Mr. Hawley's help. 

3) Though SNAP is skeptical of Mr. Hawley's church sex abuse inquiry, it wants to make sure the probe is thorough, inclusive and beneficial. So SNAP is prodding Archbishop Carlson to use church websites, parish bulletins and pulpit announcements to beg victims to call local law enforcement and the AG's office.

 

CONTACT 

David Clohessy, volunteer St. Louis SNAP leader, 314 566 9790, davidgclohessy@gmail.com


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