LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Attorney general’s ‘investigation’ wasn’t thorough enough

St. Louis Post Dispatch

September 28, 2019

Regarding “Missouri AG to refer 12 cases of Catholic clergy sex abuse to local prosecutors” (Sept. 16): I was shocked to see that Attorney General Eric Schmitt’s probe into the Catholic Church’s sex abuse and cover-up crisis focused almost entirely on diocesan predator priests. The attorney general and his staff ignored the religious order priests and brothers who have sexually abused students in Catholic schools (run by Jesuits and Marianists). They didn’t name a single wrongdoer, even priests who had been convicted of child sex crimes. They didn’t disclose whether they spoke with a single expert on this topic. Worst of all, Schmitt said — without explanation — that the bishops, the church leaders who enabled and concealed the abuse, shuffled predators and deceived parishioners, were “outside the scope” of his examination.

No one from the attorney general’s office contacted me or my longtime law partner. Between the two of us, we represented more than 100 victims of sexual violence by Catholic priests, nuns and brothers. Thanks to our brave and persistent clients, we were able to obtain thousands of pages of long-hidden church abuse records (and some of those documents were incredibly damning). But not a single person in Schmitt’s office even called to ask about them. Instead, they trusted the same organizations that allowed this abuse to continue for decades, the same organizations that battled our clients in court to keep their records hidden, to provide complete access to their files.

How does he claim this was some sort of “investigation?”

Ken Chackes • St. Louis

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