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St. Louis County Prosecutor Asking Common Question About the Lists

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Recently,  the St. Louis County prosecutor asked a question that I have seen in a number of comments after each list has come out.  Why weren’t the police told?   In a statement  following the release of the Diocese of Duluth  a list with   17 priests accused of sexually abusing minors,   County Attorney Mark Rubin pointed out:

“All allegations involving the sexual abuse of children by a priest or anyone, should always be reported,”

He added that all of allegations should have been reviewed and that statute of limitations  or credibility should have been weighted by the law.  That in close calls the right thing to do would be disclosure.

The Diocese response was interesting:

Diocese spokesman Kyle Eller said the Kelleher case involved a unique situation in which an adult reported childhood abuse by a priest from decades earlier, but also insisted on anonymity.

Rubin said the diocese’s policy did not clearly address a situation in which a victim of childhood abuse does not report it until years later. Eller said the diocese worked with Rubin to clarify its policy.

“As a result of that collaboration, we believe we have clear procedures in place to address similar circumstances should they occur in the future,” Eller said.

Really?   Unique?   How in the world can they say that?  I would submit that the hidden church files contain this story over and over again.  Hopefully,  as indicated, this policy is clear.   I believe  the Church policy of zero tolerance covers it, but  when there is a claim, report it.  Make sure outside authorities are involved in reviewing the facts.

The lists are now providing the opportunity for people to find out where these predators are living.   To understand the depth of the hiding that has taken place.   Most of all, they return us to the question of how to best get justice for those survivors who have been harmed and to make sure that there are no future children hurt.

Abuse of children and the continued silence by the offenders needs to be prevented. If you suffered, saw, or suspected such events, it is important to know that there is help out there.