Archdiocese reconsiders priest assignment after parish outcry

ST. LOUIS – A Roman Catholic priest with a controversial past will not be assigned to the parish in St. Louis Hills after all.

 The announcement about Father Joseph Jiang came down in a letter Wednesday from Archbishop Robert Carlson and St. Gabriel Archangel Church’s pastor Msgr. John Shamleffer after many parents voiced their concerns.

A meeting where parents would have been asking about Fr. Jiang’s appointment has been canceled for Thursday.  

 

Fr. Jiang was twice accused of sexual misconduct involving children. Both charges were eventually dropped.

 

Some parents said they are pleased with the church’s decision but the matter could have been handled better.

 

“Communication could have been better but it also kinda feels like that you would like to give everyone a fair shot,” said Matt Plocher, “and any charges that were ever against were thrown out so now it has come to halt so I guess you just move on with your life.”

 

In the letter, Carlson continued to say that he plans to meet with school and parish leadership to talk about discuss concerns and “work toward a better understanding of what Fr. Jiang has gone through, the reaction to his appointment on the part of so many parishioners, the work that the Church has done over the years to safeguard our children, and then to discuss where we go from here as a parish and as an archdiocese."

 

A spokesperson for the Archdiocese said Fr. Jiang is staying at the Cathedral Basilica for the moment.