Catholic officials named them as abusers. Now these former St. Louis clergy must face their pasts.


Sept. 7, 2019

By Jesse Bogan, Erin Heffernan and Nassim Benchaabane

Athletico Physical Therapy, which has hundreds of storefronts across the Midwest, offers personalized treatment plans for anything from back pain to male pelvic health to gymnastics and cheerleading rehabilitation.

One of its locations in a strip mall off Highway K in O’Fallon buzzed with activity on a recent afternoon. A young woman in black tights and a Mizzou T-shirt stretched near a half dozen other clients trying to work through the pain of lingering injuries.

Dennis J. McClintock, 72, a rehabilitation aide, sat at the edge of the workout floor, sporting an orange Hawaiian shirt, a stark contrast to the white clerical collar he used to wear as a Roman Catholic priest.

On July 26, the Archdiocese of St. Louis made a long-awaited splash by releasing a list of former clergy with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. Some names were already widely known; their abuse had been the subject of lawsuits and news stories. Others, including McClintock’s, were being made public for the first time.

Who these priests and deacons were and what they had done was largely hidden — and still is. More than a month after the list was released, neighbors, co-workers and victims are in the dark.

Unlike similar lists released by Catholic organizations from around the country, the archdiocese didn’t say where the men served. Nor did it include the number of alleged victims and what happened to them.

Decades after leaving the archdiocese, they have lived second lives. They’ve counseled high school students, owned appliance stores and helped young athletes rehabilitate their bodies. Two left their pasts in St. Louis and moved away.

Another has been working at a Baptist church. Contacted by the Post-Dispatch, he admitted abuse and prayed it hadn’t scarred the victims. Others said the archdiocese smeared them without a chance to defend themselves. One said he hadn’t even heard he was on the list until a reporter called.

Even though an archdiocesan spokesman said in July the church had “found nothing new that alarmed us,” those on the outside who have closely monitored allegations of clergy sex abuse have been startled by the latest revelations.

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