Abuse Victim Advocates Say Marianists Needed to Do More in Chaminade Case
By Gregg Palermo
February 7, 2012
Outspoken advocates for victims of child sex abuse continued to pressure the religious order in charge of Chaminade College Preparatory School in Creve Coeur, one day after the order released a statement announing that it found allegations of sexual abuse by two now-deceased teachers there as credible.
Representatives with SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, held a Tuesday morning press conference in front of the Central West End Provincial Headquarters for the Marianist order.
"It's a belated and begrudging, and very, very partial bare-minimum outreach effort that Marianists did obviously because they were prodded into doing so," said SNAP's David Clohessy. Clohessy has suggested that a letter which went out to Chaminade students who attended the school at the time the two men who were identified by the Marianist order should have gone out to all Marianist schools and all Catholic schools in the St. Louis area. He also said victims should have been encouraged to contact law enforcement.
A Marianist spokeswoman said the order's Provincial leadership has been spending the last several weeks since the letter to Chaminade alumni went out talking with those who responded. A statement Monday said more than a dozen alumni indicated they had witnessed abusive behavior.
The spokeswoman said the Marianists were "not ignoring police," but reminded reporters that the men identified in Monday's disclosure had died, and that the allegations stem back thirty years.
She reserved further comment on how the order reached a decision to declare the allegations raised as credible until she could consult with other officials and records.