SNAP Statement on Fr. Charles H. Miller
By Barbara Dorris
February 13, 2012
We are members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org). Our mission is to heal the wounded and protect the vulnerable.
The Marianists are a St. Louis-based Catholic religious order that runs, and has run, parochial high schools like Vianney, Chaminade, St. Mary’s and McBride (now closed).
A Marianist cleric was accused of molesting a teenage girl here. Her allegation was deemed “credible” by church authorities. Those church officials say they’ve found evidence that Miller had perpetrated this same behavior with at least two other teenagers.
Where’s the alleged offender now? He’s working for the Marianists in Rome. These Catholic officials deliberately and quietly move a credibly accused sex offender into the literal and figurative center of Catholicism, where hundreds of thousands of unsuspecting devout believers go every year.
Fr. Charles H. Miller is a Marianist from St. Louis who taught at St. Louis University in the 1970s. In 2005, a Missouri woman reported to Marianist officials that Miller began grooming her in 1976 when she was 14 years old and began molesting her three years later when she turned 17. After a two-year-long “investigation,” Marianists determined that the woman’s accusations were “credible.”
However, rather than permanently defrocking Miller, Marianists instead allegedly restricted some parts of his ministry and then, in 2007, sent him to the Marianist headquarters in Rome, where he still works today.
Last week, Vatican officials wrapped up an unprecedented four-day meeting about the church’s ongoing abuse cover-up crisis. They promised to reform. Yet even now, a credibly accused former St. Louis cleric works right under the Pope’s nose.
We urge the Marianist staff here to bring Miller back to the US and put him in a remote and secure treatment facility. Marianists should also apologize and explain why the sent him overseas among unsuspecting families and colleagues. Archbishop Carlson should insist that they do this.
Marianist officials should publicly explain why they sent Miller overseas where he could pose a threat to other teenagers who are unaware of his history of abuse. They should bring Miller back and put him in a remote and secure treatment facility, so that teens and young adults will be safer.
Even if Miller’s victims were legally adults when the abuse happened, it’s always a hurtful abuse of power when a highly educated and charismatic cleric violates vows and has any sexual contact with a child, teen, or young Catholic adult.
We are also hosting two events this week. On Wednesday, we will hold an open, public meeting about the growing Chaminade scandal at the Creve Coeur Community Center on New Ballas Rd. On Thursday, we will hold a confidential support group meeting – for victims and their loved ones – at the St. Louis County public library in Clayton. Both begin at 6:30 p.m.
We want officials at Chaminade, the Marianists, and the archdiocese to “come clean” about abuse in Marianist schools, disclose ALL names of proven, admitted and credibly accused Marianists (whether living or deceased, lay or ordained, current or former). We also hope that everyone who saw, suspected, or suffered child sex crimes or cover ups by Marianists to call police, expose wrongdoing, protect others and start healing.
We beg victims of predators at Chaminade, Vianney and St. Mary’s high schools to NOT contact church or school officials, but seek out independent, trustworthy sources of help and support, like police, prosecutors, therapists and support groups like ours.
Finally, we want the Marianists to explain why they did not disclose these allegations sooner and aggressively seek out anyone else who may have seen, suspected, or suffered the clerics’ crimes. We are also urging the Marianists to write to alumni of any other institution where these predators spent time. (This should have been done, SNAP says, when the allegations was first received). And in all outreach notices, SNAP says, Archbishop Carlson should insist that ALL seven credibly accused Marianists should be listed.
NOTE -Fr. Solma, the Marianist provincial, is at email@example.com, 533-1207. Chaminade is at 425 S Lindbergh Blvd.) St. Louis lawyer Gerald Noce, 480 4160, represents the Marianists. Clayton attorney Ken Chackes (872 8420, firstname.lastname@example.org)
At least seven other local Marianists have been publicly named as credibly accused pedophiles – Brother Louis Meinhardt Brother John J. Woulfe, Fr. William Christensen, Fr. Robert R. Osborne, Brother William Mueller, Fr. Daniel A. Triulzi, and Brother Tony Pistone. Child sex abuse suits against Triulzi, Osborne and Mueller has been settled.