Ex-Redemptorist Priest Is Accused of Sex Abuse

Post-Dispatch [St. Louis MO]
August 16, 2005

A Missouri man sued the St. Louis Archdiocese and a former Redemptorist priest Tuesday, alleging he was sexually abused and given a sexually transmitted disease at a St. Louis church when he was a boy.

Suing as "John Doe," he says in the suit that the Rev. James Thiel sodomized him repeatedly at the St. Alphonsus Liguori Catholic Church, 1118 North Grand Boulevard, from 1974 to 1979. The plaintiff, now 42, discovered the disease in high school and was successfully treated, said Susan Carlson, one of his lawyers.

The suit claims the church and the Redemptorists' Denver Province concealed prior abuse accusations against Thiel.

The archdiocese said it was told by the Redemptorists years ago that the Vatican removed Thiel from the order, thus forbidding him from functioning as a priest. The lawyer for the Redemptorists, based in Colorado, could not be reached.

A lawsuit filed in 2004 by another man, claiming Thiel abused him in grade school at St. Paul the Apostle Parish from 1978 to 1981, is pending.

Neither Thiel nor his lawyer could be reached for comment.