The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests

SNAP Press Statements

Statement Regarding Anderson
Settlement in St. Louis

For More Information:
David Clohessy, SNAP Exec. Director

February 20, 2004

"We're grateful that Fr. Anderson's first known victim now has some measure of justice and closure.

Like many of us, this victim will really be at ease only when kids are kept safe from Father Anderson. But at least this young man, through his courage and tenacity, has achieved some peace of mind and some financial help.

Just to recap:
This victim did what bishops ask every Catholic to do. He reported his victimization to church authorities.

Then, this victim did what we ask every citizen to do. He reported a crime to the criminal authorities.

Jesus said "Do unto others as you'd have done to you." But Father Anderson made this young man's name public.

Jesus said "Turn the other cheek." But Father Anderson sued this young man for slander.

Jesus said "Blessed are the poor." But Father Anderson wanted $35,000 from this wounded young man.

Jesus said "The truth shall set you free." But Father Anderson wanted this young man to lie and recant his sexual abuse report.

Today, Father Anderson is getting none of what he wanted - neither the recantation nor the thousands of dollars he so desperately wanted.

So some measure of justice has been achieved here.

Needless to say, we continue to worry about the safety of kids at Sacred Heart parish in Eureka. Fr. Anderson is a child molester. Kids are not safe around him.

No amount of money can restore the self-esteem, innocence or happiness that Fr. Anderson stole from Art Andreas. By his courage, however, Art has recovered at least some of what was cruelly taken from him during his childhood. Art is a hero. His bravery has already inspired other victims to come forward, and it will continue to inspire others. We know of a third young man, abused by Anderson in the same way, which we cannot talk about today. But we hope he will also come forward.

In the past, Father Anderson also worked at St Simon, Immaculate Heart of Mary, St Blasé, St. Pius, Assumption, St. Andrew and the St. Joseph Home for Boys. We hope that anyone who witnessed, suspected or experienced abuse at these parishes finds the strength and courage to come forward.

Finally, this case again shows the need to reform Missouri's archaic and dangerous statutes of limitations, both civil and criminal. These outmoded and arbitrary time limits enable sexual predators to avoid exposure and prosecution. If Missouri had more victim-sensitive abuse laws, Father Anderson might well be behind bars today, and children would be safer.

Sadly, we expect the former Fleishman-Hillard PR man now on the archdiocese's payroll, will do all he can to 'spin' this settlement. We pray that he will have the decency to avoid rubbing more salt into the already deep wounds of the young men who have been molested by Father Anderson. We pray that he will respect not only their privacy, but also the privacy of others who may be in mediation."




Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests