I received this SNAP press statement via email from David Clohessy, 8.17.2008.
This list compels one to ask the pope: Is Archbishop Burke’s promotion to Rome because of this terrible record or is it because he’s followed the pope’s wishes to a tee in protecting members of the priestly brotherhood? I have my answer. What’s yours?
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For immediate release: Sunday, Aug. 17
SNAP posts Archbishop’s “Ten most reckless & callous actions”
Group blasts Burke for “letting accused sex offenders work and live here”
As Archbishop Raymond Burke celebrates his last mass in St. Louis , leaders of a support group for clergy sex abuse victims are releasing a list of his ten “most reckless and callous actions in clergy sex cases here.”
The new list is posted at SNAPmidwest.org and is included below.
SNAP criticizes Burke for paying $500,000 to free a convicted predator priest, for moving a priest who’s been accused of molesting at least three boys, and for bringing a number of proven, admitted and credibly accused priests from elsewhere to live and/or work here.
For more information, contact
of St. Louis , SNAP National Director cell
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis , SNAP Outreach Director home, 503 0003 cell
—————-Burke’s most reckless and callous actions in clergy sex cases here (posted 8/17/08)
(Each fact cited below, in each case, has appeared in media accounts in at least one credible mainstream news source, and usually, in several such sources.)
1. On Friday, a Wisconsin judge sentenced a serial predator priest to six months in jail. Sometime between 2003 and 2006, Burke let that cleric, Fr. Bruce MacArthur, move to a church center for pedophile priests in Franklin County , even though MacArthur had been accused of molesting at least seven girls and was indicted in the attempted rape of a disabled, mute 54-year-old patient at a nursing home.
2. Right now, he’s quietly letting an admitted pedophile priest work at/near and live on/near St. Louis University .
He’s Fr. Vincent Bryce, who was suspended from two Michigan parishes in 2002 when he admitted molesting a child. (His direct supervisors have acknowledged the admission in writing). Bryce works at the Aquinas Institute, directly across the street from SLU and lives in Jesuit Hall, at the northwest corner of Grand and Lindell.
In December, a Chicago area newspaper disclosed that Bryce is here, but no St. Louis media have yet mentioned his name.
3. Right now, he’s quietly letting Fr. Robert Osborne work at a Kirkwood parish. Osborne left Vianney high school after being accused of molesting a boy. He later admitted giving liquor to kids and a second alleged sex abuse victim came forward.
Osborne was sued and his victim received a substantial settlement. Osborne’s direct supervisors, a religious order called the Marianists, refuse to reassign him to any of their dozens of schools they run across the US . But Burke lets him work in a parish here.
4. In 2006, he quietly let a Yakima priest work at St. Joseph’s in Clayton & St. Ambrose on the HiIl. Back in Washington state, that cleric, Fr. Darell Mitchell, had naked photos of boys on his computer and admitted that he had gone to other websites that showed naked boys. He’d also been accused of giving beer and numerous gifts to one minor, holding ‘boys-only’ dinners and game nights at his home, letting young men spend the night at the rectory, taking a minor on a European trip, and letting one boy live at the rectory with the priest for weeks one summer, introducing that minor to others as his “godson.” (When reports of his admissions & the allegations against him surfaced in St. Louis , he abruptly resigned.)
5. In 2005, he quietly let a Kansas priest live and work at St. Ambrose on the Hill. That cleric, Fr. Nicholas Voelker, had been accused recently of twice sexually assaulted a parishioner who got a protective order and a substantial settlement from church authorities because of the assaults.
6. He quietly let eight or nine proven, admitted or credibly accused archdiocesan predator priests live at Regina Cleri (a retirement home with virtually no security) in Shrewsbury . In 2005, when SNAP publicly disclosed this, Burke told the Post Dispatch the nun overseeing the sex offenders “is very strict – their comings and goings, everything is monitored. She is right on top of things.”
However, that same nun told the Post Dispatch that the priests in question serve as the facility’s “volunteer employees” doing everything from driving older priests to the hospital or drugstore to fixing computers. She admitted “she does not monitor the men if they go to a movie or for a walk. ‘I don’t police them like that. I would trust them all. I would.’”
Among the pedophile priests at Regina Cleri: Michael Campbell, Hugh Creason, Alfred Fitzgerald, and Robert Johnston.
7. In 2004, he let a fugitive Canadian cleric, move to a church center for pedophile priests in Franklin County . Br. Gerald Chumik after California parishioners demanded he be moved for the safety of their kids. Media accounts describe him as a fugitive. He’s wanted for felony child molestation in Canada .
8. In June 2008, he named Fr. Alex Anderson a pastor in DeSoto. Anderson is accused of molesting three boys, none of whom know each other. The archdiocese paid one of his victims $22,500. Anderson sued one of his accusers for slander, and vowed to take his victim to court unless a number of concessions were met (a written retraction of the allegation, the removing Anderson ’s name from the SNAP website, etc.) None of those conditions were met.
9. In 2005, he “put up a half-million dollars to keep out of jail a priest convicted of sodomizing a teenage boy,” according to the Post Dispatch. More than a year later, that cleric, Fr. Thomas Graham, won a reversal of his conviction on a legal technicality – the statute of limitations. But he would have likely spent a year behind bars (and kids would have been safer) had Burke not spent $500,000 to free him, despite being convicted by an impartial jury that heard all the evidence.
10. He repeatedly ignored SNAP’s call for a moratorium on importing proven, admitted, and credibly accused serial predator priests at two church-run facilities:
- RECON, also known as the Wounded Brothers Project, near Robertsville in Franklin County &
- St. John Vianney Renewal Center near Dittmer in Jefferson County.
SNAP estimates that Burke has let literally dozens of sex offender clergy come to these centers, almost always without warning to neighbors, parishioners or the public. (In some instances, they are convicted, so are put on the state child molester’s registry.) Some of them are among the most prolific and notorious pedophile priests in the US (including Fr. James McGreal of Seattle who faced 35 accusers, and Thomas S. Schaefer and Alphonsus Smith, both priests from Washington who were among four priests who were indicted in 1995 on charges of sexually abusing nine boys.)
For more information:
David Clohessy of St. Louis SNAP National Director 314 566 9790 cell ()
Barbara Dorris of St. Louis , SNAP Outreach Director 314 862 7688 home (SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
For an overview on Burke and the on-going abuse/cover up scandal, please see: