Letter to the faithful 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 on the archdiocesan website at archstl.org/list 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 website of the Archdiocese of St. Louis at archstl.org/promise
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
From the editor
This special edition of the St. Louis Review was published to disseminate as widely as possible the names of clergy who have had substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. It also is intended to inform the faithful of the actions the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Catholic Church have taken to prevent such future abuse.
In addition to subscribers of the St. Louis Review, this special edition was distributed to all recipients of Catholic St. Louis magazine, our bi-monthly sister publication, which is distributed to more than 150,000 households. Aside from the list of clergy and the archbishop’s message to the faithful, most of the information in this special edition has been published in previous editions of the newspaper, on stlouisreview.com or on the archdiocesan website at archstl.org/promise
Teak Phillips, Editor, St. Louis Review