Archbishop wants case against him tossed out
He dodges recent & unusual accusations, SNAP says
But he “vehemently” denies trying to tamper with evidence
SNAP: “Carlson promised ‘answers,’ but offers only legal excuses”
He claims church can’t be held responsible for recent alleged abuse
“Disclose where suspended predator priest is living now?” abuse victims ask
Chinese cleric is one of six wrongdoers who worked at Cathedral on Lindell
Self help group wants archbishop to hold public meeting about all offenders
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims will hand out copies of a new legal defense motion filed by St. Louis’ archbishop in response to a disturbing recent civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit that charges Catholic officials with evidence tampering. They will, also blast the archbishop’s “legalistic, non-response” and
--point out that five credibly accused priests and one convicted bishop worked at the Cathedral on Lindell,
--prod the archbishop to hold an open public meeting about the predators, and
--urge him to turn over records about all five alleged child molesting clerics to local law enforcement.
TODAY, Tuesday, Aug. 20 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside the St. Louis Cathedral on Lindell at Taylor in the city’s Central West End
Three-four members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including a St. Louis man who is the group’s long time director
Last month, a shocking lawsuit alleging very recent child sex crimes and attempted cover up by St. Louis’ archbishop was filed. Now, Archbishop Robert Carlson has responded to those accusations with a new, eight-page legal response in which he calls “baseless” the charge that he tried to tamper with evidence. On five other charges, however, Carlson basically argues that he can’t be held responsible even if the allegations in the case are true. Carlson’s lawyers want the entire case against him tossed out.
The suit charges that Carlson “knew (Fr. Xiu Hui “Joseph” Jiang) was dangerous to children before (a girl) was abused,” last summer, asked the alleged victim’s parents for a $20,000 check the priest had given them, committing “the criminal offense of attempted tampering with evidence,” because he reportedly suggested that the girl’s parents “return to him the check.” (The parents, however, had given it to police.)
Also last month, an archdiocesan PR staffer promised that the “allegations against the Archdiocese of St. Louis and Archbishop Carlson are false and will be denied in an answer to the lawsuit filed in court.”
SNAP maintains that Carlson is, in fact, NOT answering the charges, but instead “opting to fight on the technicalities, not on the merits” and “ignoring his promises of openness while adopting maneuvers of defense that cloud, rather than clarify the situation,” as he has in dozens of other, older clergy sex abuse and cover up cases.
Fr. Jiang was arrested in June 2012 for reportedly molesting a girl numerous times last year. He is charged with alleged child sex crimes and “victim tampering.”
According to the suit, Carlson was “supervising Fr. Jiang very closely,” “knew that (he) was a danger to children” and abused the girl while “living in the archbishop’s home.”
SNAP believes Carlson should answer questions at an open public meeting at the Cathedral about all six wrongdoers and emphatically beg anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered their crimes or cover ups to call police. For the safety of kids, SNAP also wants Carlson to disclose where Fr. Jiang is now living, especially because of the close ties between the two men.
Jiang is the fifth priest who worked at the Cathedral and was sued for alleged child sex crimes. The only convicted bishop in the US also worked there.
The other four offenders at the Cathedral include Fr. James L. Gummersbach, Fr. James J. Pavlik, Fr. Chester E. Gaiter, Fr. Bryan M. Kuchar, and Jiang. (Gaiter passed away in 2011. The rest are alive and believed to be in the St. Louis area.) Kuchar was found guilty by a St. Louis county jury in a criminal trial in 2005. Gummerbach was found guilty by a St. Louis city jury in a civil trial in 1999.
The only bishop in the US to be convicted of endangering kids also worked at the Cathedral. He’s Bishop Robert Finn of Kansas City, who about a decade ago, was rector here. In 2005, he was promoted to Kansas City’s bishop. In September 2012, he was convicted of failing to report a pedophile priest.
(For more info about all six wrongdoers: BishopAccountability.org)
The current pastor of the Cathedral is Msgr. Joseph Pins (314 373 8200). Some parishioners have set up a group to back Jiang.
Court records show that Fr. Jiang was bailed out with $25,000 brought to the jail by Msgr. Richard Hanneke (792-7550,VicarClergy@archstl.org)
Carlson’s lawyers are Justin Assouad (241 6160, JLA@heplerbroom.com) and Gerard Noce (241 6160,GTN@heplerbroom.com). Jiang’s attorney is Paul D’Agrosa (725 8443, firstname.lastname@example.org) . Jiang’s alleged victim is represented by Ken Chackes (369 3902, email@example.com).