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Message from Archbishop Carlson

Archbishop Robert J. Carlson addresses the faithful of the Archdiocese of St. Louis regarding the release of the list of names of archdiocesan clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor.

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Letter from Archbishop Robert J. Carlson

 

July 26, 2019

Dear Friends in Christ,

Last September, I promised to publish the names of clergy who have had substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors against them. Today, I am fulfilling that promise.

It will be painful for all of us to see the names of clergy accused of behavior we can barely allow ourselves to imagine. But publishing their names is the right thing to do.

For years, victims have carried the burden of the crimes committed against them. In talking with many of them, I have witnessed the devastating impact on their lives and the lives of their loved ones.

Publishing these names will not change the past. Nothing will. But it is an important step in the long process of healing. And we are committed to that healing.

This list, which is published below, is the result of a long and extensive investigation conducted by a third-party agency staffed with skilled investigators, formerly of the FBI and state law enforcement. The results were provided to the Archdiocesan Review Board—a board composed of a majority of lay members who are not employed by the Archdiocese of St. Louis. The Review Board produced the list and shared it with me for final review. I have accepted the results of this investigative process.

Please be assured that no priest or deacon of the Archdiocese of St. Louis against whom there has been a substantiated claim of sexual abuse of a

minor is currently serving in ministry. Important facts regarding each member of the clergy who is named, including their status within the Church, are

detailed on this list.

The list is also published in a special edition of our archdiocesan newspaper, St. Louis Review, and a copy of this edition is being circulated to most Catholic households in the Archdiocese of St. Louis, regardless of whether that household has a subscription. Additionally, the list is being shared with the Missouri Attorney General. The Archdiocese of St. Louis will continue to work in full transparency with the Attorney General’s office throughout its review of clergy personnel records, which is ongoing, to ensure that any new information regarding allegations of sexual abuse of minors by clergy is considered and handled appropriately.

I strongly encourage anyone who has yet to share their story of abuse to please come forward to the local and state authorities. I also ask that anyone who has knowledge of sexual abuse of minors or misconduct by a member of the clergy, an employee or volunteer of the Archdiocese of St. Louis, call the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 314-792-7704. The names of any additional clergy who are found to have substantiated claims of sexual abuse of minors against them, based on new information, will be added to this list.

The archdiocese has many resources in place to support victims. Numerous steps have also been taken to strengthen and enhance procedures to ensure that our children are protected.  More information about these initiatives and resources can be found on the Promise to Protect webpage.

I pray, and I ask you to pray with me, to our blessed Mother Mary: Mother of mercy, help us by your prayers. Help victims to heal. Help the Church to be purified. Help bishops and priests to repent, to return to Jesus with a purified faith, and become instruments of His salvation.

God continues to call all of us to Him through His Church. I ask all of you to join me in heartfelt prayer, with the Eucharist in mind, that this work will help bring peace to the victims and their families. I pray that He will help us all remain vigilant in righting past wrongs, fulfilling our Promise to Protect, and restoring trust in His Church, its leadership and His divine plan for salvation.

I pray that, in this moment, we will be rich in the healing power of Jesus, rise out of the darkness of this tomb, grow stronger in the light of His love and mercy, and praise Him unceasingly for His promise of eternal life.

 

Sincerely yours in Christ,

 

Most Reverend Robert J. Carlson

Archbishop of St. Louis

 


 

To report any suspicion of abuse by any Church personnel please contact local law enforcement, or call the Missouri Department of Social Services Child Abuse Neglect Hotline Number: 1-800-392- 3738. In addition, anyone who has knowledge of sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy, an employee or volunteer of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis is urged to call the Office of Child and Youth Protection at 314-792-7704.

 

Our Promise to Protect By the Numbers

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The archdiocese’s Safe Environment Program requires all clergy and adult employees and volunteers who work with or near minors and/or vulnerable adults to attend a Protecting God’s Children workshop and complete online training updates every three years; read and sign the archdiocese’s Code of Ethical Conduct for Clergy, Employees, and Volunteers Working in Ministry; and complete a national criminal record check and agree to regular screening updates.  The Protecting God’s Children program, developed by VIRTUS® and used by dioceses throughout the country, educates participants to identify the signs of child sexual abuse, understand the methods and means by which offenders commit abuse, and be aware of the steps that can be taken to prevent ongoing or future abuse.

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Students in grades K-9 in archdiocesan schools and parish school of religion programs receive annual age-appropriate instruction in the Safe Touch curriculum to enable them to protect themselves from potential abuse. This local curriculum was developed in partnership with West County Psychological Associates, the Archdiocesan Child Safety Committee, and area educators and school administrators. Discussion topics range from physical boundaries to online safety.

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Each parish and archdiocesan school employs a Child Safety Coordinator (CSC) whose role is to ensure employee and volunteer compliance with the three Safe Environment policy requirements of Protecting God’s Children, the Code of Ethical Conduct, and regular background screenings.  The CSC maintains both electronic and physical records of compliance which are audited annually by the Office of Child and Youth Protection.

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The Protecting God’s Children workshops are led by VIRTUS-trained facilitators who not only share the two videos at the center of the training program, A Time to Protect God's Children™ and A Plan to Protect God's Children™, but who also incorporate our archdiocesan policies and procedures into the training, address the reporting of child or vulnerable adult sexual abuse, explain the screening and selection of employees and volunteers, and share victim advocacy efforts.

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Approximately 10,000 adults are trained annually during the many Protecting God’s Children workshops held at the Cardinal Rigali Center as well as at parishes, schools and agencies throughout the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Statements Resources FAQ Glossary of Terms Investigatory Process

 

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