Deceased Alton Priest Accused of Sex Misconduct Has Same Name As Current Jacksonville Priest — Totally Different People, Group Clarifies
By Nathan Woodside
December 21, 2018
A deceased former Alton priest named in a continued wave of sex abuse allegations within the Catholic Church unfortunately shares very-nearly the same name as a current priest in Jacksonville. The two are in no way related.
During a press event held Friday in Springfield, David Clohessy, a spokesman and former national director of the St. Louis-based Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) invoked Fr. Thomas G. Meyer, who served as a pastor of Sts. Peter and Paul Paul Parish in Alton from 1990 to 1998.
Last year, Meyer was included in a list of “substantiated” accusations of sexual abuse toward minors issued by the Minneapolis-St. Paul archdiocese.
SNAP resurfaced Meyer’s name, along with several others, as it was revealed the former Catholic cleric had also served in the Springfield diocese and had “attracted no discernible public attention before.”
Earlier Friday, Pope Francis ordered priests who’d committed sexual misconduct toward children to confess, and asked victims to come forward.
Clohessy said Springfield Bishop Thomas Paprocki had done the “bare minimum” in the wake of Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s investigation of Illinois dioceses’ handling of abuse allegations.
Later Friday, SNAP issued the following statement importantly clarifying that the accused, now deceased, Fr. Thomas G. Meyer is not the current Fr. Thomas C. Meyer serving in Jacksonville:
“This is a clarification regarding the SNAP press event held in Springfield, IL on December 21. It is important to note that there have been two priests in the Springfield Diocese with the same name.
“Fr. Thomas G. Meyer is a now deceased publicly accused abusive cleric and was a religious order cleric who worked in Alton.
“Fr. Thomas C. Meyer is alive, is NOT accused of abuse, is a diocesan cleric who now works in Jacksonville IL.