Priest Added to St. Louis’ List of Accused Priests is Member of Local Sports Halls of Fame
A former clergyman who was been listed as “credibly accused” of child sex abuse by the Archdiocese of St. Louis is also a member of two local Halls of Fame. We believe these honors should be reexamined and removed in light of his history.
Robert Marquitz, a former priest from the Archdiocese of St. Louis, left ministry in 1974 and was laicized in 1993. It was later made public that he had been accused of sexual abuse when his name was quietly added to the archdiocese’s list of “credibly accused” priests.
We doubt that Marquitz’s history of alleged abuse was publicly known at the time he was inducted into the St. Louis Soccer and Softball Halls of Fame. It is likely that, had parishioners and the public been aware of his abuse history, he never would have received these honors in the first place. But regardless of what was known then, we know now that Marquitz has been determined by the Archdiocese of St. Louis to have credible allegations of abuse. Because of that determination, we believe the right thing for those Halls of Fame to do is to remove Marquitz from their rosters.
Public honors for sex abusers are one reason that many victims of sexual abuse stay silent. Many survivors fear reprisals for coming forward against popular and prominent members of the community. The St. Louis Soccer and Softball Halls of Fame can help make things easier not only for victims of Marquitz to come forward, but also survivors of any other abuser, by taking the step to remove him from their rosters today. This gesture will send the message that skill on the pitch does not transcend actions taken away from it and that sexual abuse will not be tolerated in these communities.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director ([email protected], 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)