Alleged Pedophile Priest Once Served in WW

By Andy Porter
January 25, 2014

WALLA WALLA — The Archdiocese of Spokane is seeking information about a priest who briefly lived in Walla Walla in 1986 and has since been the subject of a substantiated claim of child sexual abuse in Minnesota.

According to the Inland Register, the newspaper for the Spokane archdiocese, the Rev. Clarence Vavra was hired as a chaplain at the Washington State Penitentiary in the fall of 1986, but resigned his position on Dec. 29, 1986, and left the state shortly afterward.

The newspaper reported the Archdiocese of St. Paul/Minneapolis has recently published that there is a substantiated claim of child sexual abuse against Vavra.

“Although Vavra’s known abuse did not take place in Washington state, it is the policy of the Diocese of Spokane to inform parishioners when it receives information about known perpetrators who have served within the boundaries of our diocese,” the article said.

According to a report by Minnesota Public Radio, Vavra served in 16 parishes in the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis before retiring in 2003. The MPR report stated that Vavra has never been publicly identified as an abuser, there are no records of any police reports or lawsuits and no victims have come forward.

However, MPR reported, “Vavra admitted in a May 1995 psychological evaluation that he had attempted to anally rape” a boy in South Dakota.

The Inland Register reported that during his time in Walla Walla, there is some indication Vavra celebrated Mass on weekends at St. Patrick Catholic Church in Walla Walla and lived in the rectory.

The Spokane Diocese article requested information from “anyone who has been abused by this priest or knows of child sexual abuse by (Vavra) during his time in Walla Walla.” People should immediately contact the Victims Assistance Coordinator of the Diocese of Spokane, Roberta Smith, at 509-353-0442 or 509-998-8340.



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