Notice given of abuse allegation against suspended priest

By Joseph Kenny
St. Louis Review
April 20, 2016

Parishes where suspended archdiocesan priest Father Thomas Graham served are being notified of a decades-old but recently reported allegation of sexual abuse against him.

The sexual abuse, deemed credible by the archdiocese’s Review Board, occurred in the 1980s at St. Alban Roe Parish in Wildwood, where Father Graham was serving as pastor. The Review Board advises the archbishop on matters related to sexual abuse by clergy and other archdiocesan personnel in order to provide assistance to those who have been abused and to ensure that those who have done harm are not allowed to do so again.

Due to a separate allegation from the 1970s, Father Graham, 82, is already on permanent administrative leave and is canonically suspended, which prohibits him from engaging in priestly ministry, including presenting himself publicly as a priest, wearing clerical attire, offering Mass publicly or administering the sacraments.

In 2006, the Missouri Supreme Court reversed a conviction of Father Graham, who had been found guilty and sentenced to 20 years in prison a year earlier for sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s.

Father Graham was a chaplain at Nazareth Living Center in 2002 when he was placed on administrative
after the criminal charge was filed. Ordained in 1960, he taught at St. Thomas Aquinas High School from 1960-64 and was associate pastor at Good Shepherd Parish in Ferguson, 1960-66, St. Mary in Bridgeton,
1966-73, St. Pius V Parish in St. Louis, 1973-75, and the Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral) from 1975-80.

He was pastor of St. Alban Roe Parish in Wildwood from 1980-89 and St. Bernadette Parish in Lemay from 1989-94.

The announcement to be placed in parish bulletins follows the U.S. bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People regarding communicating about allegations of sexual abuse of minors and is an outreach to potential victims. The archdiocese encourages anyone with reports of abuse of a minor involving a member of the clergy or other Church personnel to contact Deacon Phil Hengen, director of child and youth protection, at (314) 792-7704, the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-3738 and/or law-enforcement officials.



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