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Vincentian priest pleads guilty to child pornography charges

Father James Beighlie was removed from St. Vincent de Paul Parish in May 2021

A Congregation of the Mission priest who served in St. Louis has pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography.

Father James Beighlie, CM, 72, pleaded guilty Oct. 12 to two counts of possession of child pornography after federal law enforcement brought charges on Nov. 29, 2021.

When the Congregation of the Mission became aware of child sexual abuse material on Father Beighlie’s devices during a May 2021 internal investigation, the province notified the FBI and removed Father Beighlie from his position as associate pastor at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in St. Louis. The province continues to cooperate with law enforcement and prosecutors.

Father Beighlie’s sentencing is scheduled for Jan. 10.

“We are deeply saddened and disappointed,” said Father Patrick McDevitt, CM, provincial superior. “The behavior for which Father Beighlie is accused runs contrary to the Vincentian charism, our mission and everything we stand for. Exploitation of children through pornography is a grave sin and has no place in society.”

The Congregation of the Mission Western Province maintains ongoing accrediation from Praesidium, an organization that establishes protocols and best practices to safeguard children from abuse in programs and organizations. Anyone with information about abuse by a member of the province is encouraged to contact the victim assistance coordinator at (314) 313-0780.

The archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection serves persons who bring forward allegations of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy or by lay employees or volunteers of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis. When reporting abuse of someone who is currently a minor, please contact the appropriate civil authorities before contacting the office. To report past abuse, contact Sandra Price, executive director of the Office of Child and Youth Protection, at (314) 792-7704.

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