Bishop Robert Hermann, archdiocesan administrator, has removed from ministry Father Michael Freymuth, a priest in residence at Visitation-St. Ann Parish in North St. Louis.
In a statement, Msgr. Richard Hanneke, director of priest personnel, noted that the archdiocese has been informed of a potential lawsuit involving Father Freymuth. The person filing the potential lawsuit had brought an allegation to the archdiocese in 2005 involving Father Freymuth.
The Review Board of the archdiocese, made up of laypeople with varied expertise, reviewed the allegation and, based upon information available at that time, determined that the allegation did not constitute sexual abuse.
Father Freymuth was removed at this time pending further review "because we take all allegations of abuse very seriously," Msgr. Hanneke stated.
Prior to the allegation in 2005, Father Freymuth was assigned as chaplain at Cardinal Ritter College Preparatory High School and part-time associate pastor at St. Elizabeth Mother of John the Baptist Parish, both in North St. Louis.
He earlier has served at St. Joan of Arc, Sts. Mary and Joseph, St. Gabriel and Holy Family Parishes and taught at St. Mary’s High School, all in South St. Louis.
Anyone who has ever experienced abuse involving a clergy member is asked to contact Deacon Phil Hengen in the Office of Child and Youth Protection at (314) 792-7704 or local authorities.