2 Priests, Monsignor Who Served Buffalo Accused of Sexual Abuse
October 10, 2018
Two Catholic priests and a monsignor who previously served St. William Parish in Buffalo all have been accused of sexually abusing a minor, according to news releases from the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau.
The allegation of sexual abuse of a minor involving Fr. John A. Brath, who died in 2014, pertains to a period in the mid-1970s. The allegation of sexual abuse of a minor involving Fr. Fred Lutz, who is retired, pertains to a period in the early 1970s, according to the news releases. Following procedures outlined in diocesan Safe Environment Policies and Procedures, the diocese has notified civil authorities of the allegations. Additionally, pastoral support has been provided to the victims, according to the news releases.
The allegation of sexual abuse of a minor involving Msgr. John J. Rynish, who died in 2001, pertains to a period in the early 1970s, according to the news release. Following procedures, the diocese has notified civil authorities of the allegation, including Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect and the Greene County prosecuting attorney. Additionally, pastoral support is being offered to the victims family, according to the news release.
Brath was born in 1938 and ordained a priest in 1968 for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau. He served as a chaplain in the Air Force from 1971 to 1974, earning the rank of captain. Brath retired from active ministry in 2007. He died June 25, 2014.
Pastoral appointments for Brath include the following:
1968: supply priest Immaculate Conception Parish, New Madrid.
1968: pastor St. William Parish, Buffalo.
1968: counselor Sacred Heart House of Studies, Springfield, until 1971.
1970: administrator Sacred Heart Parish, Conway, and religion teacher at St. Agnes Regional High School, Springfield.
1971: released to military service.
1974: administrator St. William Parish, Buffalo.
1975: pastor Sacred Heart Parish, Webb City, and chaplain, Missouri Southern College, Joplin.
1976: pastor Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Branson, and Our Lady of the Ozarks Parish, Forsyth.
1977: additional responsibilities as pastor Our Lady of the Cove Parish, Kimberling City.
1981: pastor St. Francis de Sales Parish, Lebanon.
1986: pastor St. Mary Parish, Pierce City.
1991: pastor St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Ozark.
1996: pastor Our Lady of the Cove, Kimberling City.
1998: additional responsibilities as pastor Holy Family Parish, Shell Knob.
2001: pastor St. Mary Parish, West Plains, and Sacred Heart Parish, Thayer.
2004: pastor St. Francis de Sales Parish, Lebanon.
Lutz was born in 1943 and was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau in 1973. Lutz retired from active ministry March 1, 2011.
Pastoral appointments for Lutz include the following:
As a transitional deacon, Lutz served in 1972 in St. Mary of the Annunciation Cathedral, Cape Girardeau, and in 1973 in Holy Trinity Parish, Springfield.
1973: associate pastor Holy Trinity Parish, Springfield.
1974: leave to Archdiocese of San Francisco.
1975: parochial administrator SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Pulaskifield, and St. Edward Parish, Cassville.
1975: pastor St. William Parish, Buffalo; chaplain Fordland Honor Camp; parochial administrator Sacred Heart Parish, Conway.
1986: 30-day retreat.
1987: pastor Immaculate Conception Parish, Jackson.
1988: pastor SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Pulaskifield, and St. Edward Parish, Cassville.
1991: pastor St. Susanne Parish, Mount Vernon, and St. Patrick Mission Church, Greenfield.
1994: pastor Guardian Angel Parish, Oran.
1996: pastor St. Joseph Parish, Advance, and St. Anthony Mission Church, Glennon.
2003: pastor St. Benedict Parish, Doniphan, and St. Anne Mission Church, Grandin (mission closed in 2005).
2005: pastor St. Mary Parish, Lamar.
2009: health leave.
2010: pastor St. Mary Parish, Lamar.
Rynish was born in Kansas City and ordained a priest in 1943 for the Diocese of Kansas City. The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau was formed in 1956 from territory that was, prior to 1956, part of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Diocese of Kansas City. Rynish retired from active ministry in 1993. He died Sept. 23, 2001.
Pastoral appointments for Rynish include the following:
1943: assistant pastor Holy Cross Parish, Kansas City.
1950: assistant pastor St. Wenceslaus Parish, Karlin.
1952: administrator Sacred Heart Parish, Bolivar, and St. William Parish, Buffalo.
1953: assistant pastor St. Stephen Parish, Kansas City.
1954: pastor St. Canera Parish, Neosho.
1960: pastor St. Eustachius Parish, Portageville.
1965: pastor Immaculate Conception Parish, Springfield.
1969: elected diocesan administrator at departure of then-Bishop Ignatius Strecker until April 6, 1970.
1973: elected diocesan administrator at departure of then-Bishop William Baum until Dec. 5, 1973.
1977: pastor St. Mary Parish, Pierce City.
1979: pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Billings.
Assistance provided to victims
The diocese will reach out to every person who has been the victim and/or survivor of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone acting in the name of the church, whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years in the past, according to the news releases. This outreach will include provision of counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups and other social services agreed upon by the victim and the diocese. The assistance coordinator will aid in the immediate pastoral care of people who claim to have been sexually abused as minors by clergy or other diocesan personnel.
People who wish to document an allegation may do so by calling the Missouri Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 392-3738 or (844) CAN-TELL; or by contacting William Holtmeyer Jr., MS, NCC, LPC, CEAP, director of child and youth protection at (417) 866-0841 or firstname.lastname@example.org, victim assistance coordinator Judy St. John, LPC, NCC, at (573) 587-3139 or email@example.com, or through the diocesan Web-based TIPS Online reporting portal (go to dioscg.org and look for the TIPS link).
The Safe Environment Policies for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau is available by logging on to the diocesan website at dioscg.orgunder the Child and Youth Protection ministry tab.