Admitted serial predator priest to be sentenced
Admitted serial predator priest to be sentenced
He’ll likely go back to prison for the second time
And another ‘just outed’ St. L cleric has quit his job
Archdiocese admits he’s ‘credibly accused’ of abuse
Still, he became a high-ranking state education official
SNAP blasts archbishop’s ‘accused’ list as “deceptive & incomplete”
Using chalk, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will write names of dozens of alleged predator priests – most deemed ‘credibly accused’ by church officials elsewhere – who have been left off Archbishop Robert Carlson’s official list of clerics with substantiated abuse reports (which he recently posted on his website).
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, they will also disclose that a just ‘outed’ St. Louis priest has quit his job as a high-ranking state education official in the wake of an abuse report against him surfacing publicly.
And they will urge:
---a judge to issue a long sentence to an admitted predator priest who goes to court Friday afternoon in Clayton, and
---the archbishop to add dozens more names to his ‘credibly accused’ clerics list.
Friday, August 16 at 11:15 a.m.
On the sidewalk outside the “new” Cathedral on Lindell near Taylor in the city’s CWE
Four-six members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
--1) Earlier this month, at least one credible child sex abuse allegation was disclosed against Fr. Keith Westrich, who had since moved to Massachusetts where he working until las week as an assistant commissioner in the state Department of Elementary and Secondary Education.
SNAP suspects that among the more than 100 alleged St. Louis predator priests there are perhaps dozens like Westrich who now quietly live and work in unsuspecting communities (here and elsewhere) because Carlson and other Catholic officials “have hidden and protected their secrets for years.”
(One St. Louis predator priest, James Beine, tried to get a teaching certificate in Nevada until SNAP learned of his efforts and protested. Another one, Bryan M. Kuchar, worked at a local Starbucks and a local casino. Another, Fr. Charles S. Miller, is believed to be in Rome. Several, like William Christensen, have moved overseas. One is reportedly a local physical therapist.)
--2) Fr. Fred Lenczycki, originally of the Joliet diocese, was the first US priest to be deemed a “sexually violent predator” and likely to re-offend. So he was kept locked up by Illinois officials even after his criminal sentence expired.
He was sent to St. Louis and put in unsuspecting positions at area parishes and hospitals, SNAP says, where he molested again. (Fr. Lenczycki also worked in Columbia MO.) He pled guilty recently to molesting two St. Louis boys and will be sentenced in Clayton on Friday at 1:00. One of his victims will be at the sentencing.
SNAP hopes the judge keeps Lenczycki away from kids for a long time.
--3) Over the past year, SNAP has discovered and disclosed dozens of clerics – most exposed by and deemed ‘credibly accused’ by Catholic officials elsewhere – who are or were in St. Louis but have mostly escaped any scrutiny here. That’s a recipe for disaster, SNAP maintains, and parents, police, prosecutors, parishioners and the public should be warned about them. That’s the quickest, cheapest and leasts controversial way to safeguard kids, the organization says, and it also helps still-suffering victims with healing and closure.
The group wants Carlson to ‘stop spllitting hairs’ and release the names, photos, whereabouts and work histories of “every priest, nun, brother, bishop, seminarian and monk who spent time in this area and is a proven, admitted or credibly accused child molesting cleric.” SNAP says that “self-serving exceptions - like ‘he was ordained elsewhere,’ ‘he mostly worked elsewhere,’ ‘He’s a Benedictine, not an archdiocesan priest’ are ‘distinctions without a difference’ and insult Catholics, further hurt victims and endanger kids.
According to a Boston-based archive and research group, 95 St. Louis priests are publicly accused abusers. But that figure doesn’t include the dozens of religious order clerics who are or have been in the archdiocese. (These include Jesuits who run St. Louis University and Marianists who run Chaminade and Vianney high schools, among others.)
In a 2014 legal filing, Archbishop Robert Carlson's lawyers admitted recieving abuse reports against a total of 115 clerics and other church employees but identified none of them by name. (Presumably, archdiocesan staff deemed some of those allegations as unsubstantiated.)
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected], Kathy Peterson 314 221 5850