SNAP leader calls for more accountability after St. Xavier releases list of accused abusers

By Katrina Helmer
July 16, 2019

St. Xavier High School

[with video]

[with pdf]

After the Xaverian Brothers released a list of brothers facing credible accusations of sexual abuse with minors, the leader of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) in Louisville hopes it leads to more accountability and justice for the victims.

St. Xaverian High School in Louisville released a letter to alumni and school families last week, which included a list of 14 brothers who have ties to the school dating back to the 1930s and who are also accused of abusing minors.

Cal Pfeiffer, the local leader of SNAP who graduated from St. X in 1966, said he was never abused there, and he never witnessed any abuse. However, he said it was heartbreaking and felt personal reading the letter from the school.

“Come to find out, two of the brothers were there when I was there,” Pfeiffer said.

Pfeiffer now supports and fights for victims of abuse within the Catholic Church. He believes people are starting to “finally realize this is a huge crisis.”

And that’s why he said just releasing a list of names is not enough. He said St. X, the Xaverian Brothers and the Catholic Church need to be held accountable. The letter does not state if or how anyone was punished, leaving Pfeiffer with lingering questions.

“Did they warn people? Did the hierarchy of the Xaverian Brothers not tell them this person has been credibly accused? I think these questions need to be investigated,” Pfeiffer said. “Were they jeopardizing young high school students here in Louisville?”

He added that the letter does not state how long the school had the information about abuse allegations or who reported it. The list shows the years in which the brothers were at St. X. Pfeiffer found it strange that some of the brothers were moved around each year, were being supervised and were allowed to retire and stay on the school’s campus.

“They should’ve released it sooner,” he said. “Any time there’s a credibly accused brother, sister, priest, it should be released.”

Without more answers and transparency, Pfeiffer said victims and the community cannot fully heal.

“Some of their victims are probably still alive,” he said. “So it’s important to get the word out so that maybe students from St. X that have been scared and holding back information, now would be an appropriate time to bring it forward.”

The school’s letter states St. X has a zero tolerance policy and is working “with purpose to eradicate this scourge from the Church.” The letter also encouraged anyone who has suffered or is suffering abuse or anyone who knows of any allegations of abuse to report it to local police and the Xaverian Brothers.



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