SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says several priests came to St. Louis from Pennsylvania after being investigated for molesting kids and nobody was ever told.
SNAP says nine priests who were first publicly identified by name last month in the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report, spent time in St. Louis at some point after being investigated in other states.
However, the Archdiocese of St. Louis says they never worked here.
SNAP is urging Attorney General Josh Hawley to delay and expand his clergy sex abuse inquiry in St. Louis since the grand jury report named nine priests sent there over the last 25 years. All of these priests lived at church-run facilities for troubled priests.
“They are among hundreds of predators who were sent to St. Louis with no warning to parents and parishioners,” said David Clohessy, survivor and SNAP director in St. Louis.
While SNAP doesn’t have evidence of abuse while they were here, they say they want a large investigation.
However, the Archdioceses of St. Louis says they have found no record that any of these nine priests were granted faculties to serve in any capacity in the Archdiocese of St. Louis. So, if they were in St. Louis, it was only for medical treatment and their names would have been protected by the HIPAA Privacy Rule.
SNAP wants Attorney General Hawley to conduct an independent investigation to make sure none of the nine had access to kids.
“We think it’s crucial that he teams up with local prosecutors so we can use subpoena powers to really get at church records and he can get under oath church officials to face tough questions,” Clohessy said.
Last month, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson invited Hawley to review files so he could make an independent decision of their handling of allegations of clergy sexual abuse. Hawley accepted.
The three treatment facilities used for the nine priests are House of Affirmation in Webster Groves, St. John Vianney in Dittmer, and St. Michael's Center in St. Louis.