Benedictine Monk from Archdiocese of Milwaukee Charged with Attempted Child Abduction of 14 Year Old Girl
By John Pilmaier
April 28, 2013
Benedictine monk from Archdiocese of Milwaukee charged with attempted child abduction of 14 year old girl
Archbishop Listecki must release names of all known child sex offenders working in archdiocesan religious orders
Thomas Chmura, a Benedictine monk assigned in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee was arrested on Thursday for attempting to abduct a 14 year old girl in Antioch, Illinois. Chmura informed police that he approached the child because he wanted sexual gratification. He further admitted to law enforcement officials that he had attempted similar child abductions up to ten times in the past six weeks.
Chmura, a member of the Benedictine religious order, resides at St. Benedict’s Abbey in Benet Lake, Wisconsin. The abbey, located within the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, runs a retreat center that also offers its services to Catholics in the Archdiocese of Chicago due to its proximity to the state of Illinois. The order states that the retreat house has “been the site for many individuals and groups to find a path closer to God”.
The arrest of Chmura for the attempted abduction of a child raises many deeply disturbing questions. How many children and vulnerable adults did Chmura have access to at the retreat center in Benet Lake? Did the Benedictine order have previous reports concerning Chmura’s interactions with children and youth that may have been criminal and reportable to law enforcement? Are there reports concerning other Benedictine monks at Benet Lake who may have sexually assaulted children?
Chmura’s arrest follows the suspension from ministry of Fr. Robert Marsicek, a member of the Society of the Divine Savior religious order. Marsicek, pastor of two Milwaukee area parishes and grade schools, Pius X and Mother of Good Counsel, was suspended in March after it was learned he was under a current child sex abuse investigation in Wauwatosa. Marsicek was already under investigation for child sexual assault in California since last May for sexual assaults that took place in the late 1980’s and 1990’s.
It was revealed that parents and others had contacted Milwaukee church officials for years concerning Marsicek’s dangerous behavior around children. Despite these reports both Archbishop Dolan, now Cardinal Archbishop of New York, and Archbishop Listecki allowed Marsicek continued access to hundreds of children.
Listecki needs to immediately release the names of all known clergy child sex offenders who have worked, or are working in the archdiocese, including those who belong to religious orders. This information is essential in order for parents to protect their children from dangerous predators in their midst.
We encourage anyone with information concerning Thomas Chmura to immediately contact law enforcement officials.