SNAP asks Virginia Catholic Bishops to add Colorado priest to lists of "credibly" accused clerics
Last week the Colorado Sun published a story about a man who says he was abused by a prominent clergyman from the Archdiocese of Denver, Msgr. Lawrence St. Peter. According to the article, the priest also spent as many as 10 years in Virginia. The Colorado Attorney General's report on Catholic clergy abuse said that there was evidence that Msgr. St. Peter had abused at least three minors, in addition to the allegations in the Sun piece.
We are concerned that the monsignor was also a danger to children in Virginia during his time in the state, from 1993-2003. Fr. St. Peter was apparently still a clergyman during that time, as he was listed as "absent on leave" from the Denver Archdiocese in the Official Catholic Directorys from those years. This means he spent a decade in Virginia, perhaps wearing his collar, maybe working as a substitute priest, and certainly with unfettered access to boys and girls.
We are asking the two bishops in Virginia, Bishop Michael F. Burbidge of the Diocese of Arlington and Bishop Barry C. Knestout of the Richmond Diocese, to add Monsignor Lawrence St. Peter to their lists of accused priests and to reach out to possible victims in their dioceses.
In addition, we want both bishops to update their lists to include nuns, deacons and lay employees who have been accused of abuse, as well as more information about the priests already on their lists, such as the number of victims, where the clerics are now, where and when the accusations were made, and if the allegations were reported to the police.
"The Catholic Church has repeatedly said that they are committed to "transparency" and "accountability" and this would be a good step to show survivors that their words translate into action," said Becky Ianni, SNAP Board member, and Virginia SNAP Leader.
CONTACT: Becky Ianni, SNAP Board Treasurer and SNAP Virginia Leader ([email protected], 703-801-6044), Dan McNevin, SNAP Board Member ([email protected], 415-341-6417), Melanie Sakoda, SNAP Survivor Support Coordinator ([email protected], 925-708-6175), Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@[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)