Sins of the Fathers
ChrisOLeary.com > Sins of the Fathers > The Cardinals of St. Louis

The situation in St. Louis in 2019 is very much like Boston in 2001-2002 when the movie "Spotlight" is set.

But worse.

At a minimum, it’s 18 years later and the Catholic Church and the Archdiocese of St. Louis still don’t seem to have learned their lesson.

Perhaps because they’re trying to protect someone?

Or someone's?

The Cardinals of St. Louis

If you're a baseball fan, you know about the St. Louis Cardinals.

But do you know about the Cardinals of St. Louis?

DOLAN

Timothy Cardinal Dolan is currently putting himself forward as the solution to the abuse crisis. As one of the good guys. But, if you knew what he did -- and did NOT do -- at Immacolata in St. Louis, you'd see his true nature.

1976

I've known Father, then Bishop, and now Cardinal Dolan for most of my life. He came to Immacolata in 1976, straight out of the seminary, when I was in 3rd grade. I have a VERY clear memory of Dolan talking to us in religion class about Mark 8:22-26. I remember it, in part, because he chose me to play the role of Jesus.

1977

When I first came forward in this Aisha Sultan piece in late April 2018...

...later on that day I received a DM via Twitter...

Hello Chris my name is ___ ______, I graduated from Immacolata in 19__, was a alter boy and had to get “hair cuts” from Fr. Valentine in his bedroom, so I unfortunately know too. What angers me as much is several times leaving Valentines bedroom, fr. Timothy Dolan, now Cardinal Dolan lived in the room next door & would be standing right there & never did anything.

This is consistent with my experience with both Valentine and Dolan.

In fact, were you to ask me, "Why didn't you think that was weird," I'd answer in large part because Fr. Dolan saw at least some of it and didn't react.

2002

In early March 2002, it was announced that Fr. LeRoy Valentine had been accused of sexually abusing three boys…

As a result, the circuit attorney Jennifer Joyce and the Archdiocese of St. Louis both asked people to come forward with any information they might have.

So I — and at least one other person — came forward in early March 2002.

While neither Jennifer Joyce, her office, nor the grand jury she convened contacted me back, by then-Bishop Timothy Dolan did. I told him what I remembered and asked him if he thought it meant anything. Bishop Dolan IMMEDIATELY — without ANY investigation — told me...

I know Fr. Valentine well. We were at the seminary together. We lived and worked together at Immacolata. I know Leroy Valentine didn't do any of the things he's being accused of. I know he would never do anything to hurt a child.

In other words, nothing happened.

In fact, it was IMPOSSIBLE that any of the allegations were true.

But Bishop Dolan then said...

However, if you still want to talk to someone, I can arrange something.

I’m not sure why, but I took Bishop Dolan up on his offer and talked to a woman — a woman Dolan said was an independent psychologist but who I now believe was Nancy Brown, the Assistance Coordinator for the Archdiocese of St. Louis — and she told me I was “misinterpreting” Fr. Valentine’s actions and/or intentions.

Which is weird given that Fr. LeRoy Valentine resigned a few days later.

I was never notified that Fr. Valentine resigned, much less contacted again and offered assistance.

And that's where Raymond Cardinal Burke and Justin Cardinal Rigali enter the picture.

RIGALI & BURKE

While Cardinals Burke and Rigali weren't directly involved in my story, they are relevant because of what they did NOT do.

For one thing, Cardinal Rigali simply cut Fr. Valentine loose after he resigned, allowing him to live, unsupervised and unsecured, in a private residence for at least a year. And Cardinal Burke then continued that for another two years.

At least.

I say that because the local SNAP chapter has alleged that Fr. Valentine was unsupervised and unsecured for eleven years.

Second, while it's possible that Cardinal Dolan hid my allegations and existence from the Archdiocese of St. Louis in order to protect himself. However, at a minimum, both Cardinals Burke and Rigali knew...

  1. Fr. Valentine had resigned.
  2. Due to allegations made by multiple people.

However, and unlike what was done at the beginning of March 2002, the people of St. Louis were not told that Fr. Valentine had resigned and no effort was made to contact, and help, his survivors.

Maybe they didn't contacted me personally because Dolan hid me from them, and they didn't know I existed, but why didn't they proactively try to help Valentine's victims?

Corroboration

If you doubt what I'm saying in terms of who knew what, when, understand that the Archdiocese of St. Louis has made a number of public statements that corroborate what I'm saying.

In May 2013, the Archdiocese of St. Louis announced they had permanently removed my abuser, Fr. LeRoy Valentine, years after he first resigned in 2002. This day was horrible and sent me into a depressive cycle that it took me years to recover from — because the Archdiocese of St. Louis never called me to warn me, much less help me — but that's on Archbishop Carlson, not Cardinals Dolan, Burke, and Rigali.

And some good did come out of it.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis put out a number of statements to the press that were reprinted in their entirety...

 ...and that corroborate my claim and help to establish the timeline. The most important of those statements was reprinted by the RiverFront Times...

Fr. Valentine was first accused of sexual misconduct in 1995. He was then put on administrative leave while the allegation was investigated. Ultimately, it was not found to be credible by an independent Review Board comprised mainly of lay persons. Fr. Valentine was then returned to active ministry and a full disclosure was made to the parish of St. Thomas the Apostle at the time he was assigned there in 1999.
Although the initial accusation of misconduct was not found to be credible, Fr. Valentine has been monitored and supervised continuously since 1999.
In 2002, additional allegations of misconduct dating back to the 1980's were made. Although they were not substantiated, Father Valentine resigned his position at St. Thomas the Apostle and retired from public ministry. He lived in a private residence from 2002-2005 and then moved to a retirement home in 2005.
 The recent allegation, that was found to be credible, took place in 1978. The allegation involved inappropriate touching of a minor and was first made to archdiocesan officials in the Summer of 2012. An investigation began immediately. The Review Board concluded its process with Archbishop Carlson's announcement of Fr. Valentine's permanent removal from public ministry on May 1, 2013.
Fr. Valentine will continue to live in a monitored, secure environment.

The statement above is helpful because it establishes a number of facts and places them in the mouths of representatives of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

In 2002, additional allegations of misconduct dating back to the 1980's were made.

I and at least one other guy came forward in EARLY March 2002. Then a third guy came forward in LATE March 2002. I can give you his name and phone number, because I have talked to him a number of times and I know what he said. And his allegations, which also named then-Bishop Dolan — making him the THIRD person to know of the connection between Fr. Valentine and Father/Bishop Dolan — led the Archdiocese of St. Louis to force Fr. Valentine to resign.

Although (the allegations) were not substantiated, Father Valentine resigned his position at St. Thomas the Apostle and retired from public ministry.

Again, not only isn’t this true, but I wasn't notified that/when Fr. Valentine resigned, much less offered help understanding my memories.   Also contained in that release that announced the resignation of Fr. Valentine is a HUGE admission that confirms the role Rigali and Burke played.

Valentine resigned his position at St. Thomas the Apostle and retired from public ministry. He lived in a private residence from 2002-2005 and then moved to a retirement home in 2005. 

Cardinal Rigali was in charge of the Archdiocese of St. Louis in 2002, when I first came forward and talked to then-Bishop Dolan. Cardinal Burke then took over in early 2004.

Cardinal Rigali made the mistake of just cutting Fr. Valentine loose and siccing him on an unsuspecting public. And Cardinal Burke continued that policy.

I went back to the Archdiocese of St. Louis in May 2011 with the intention of asking them one question...

Are you SURE my memories don’t mean anything?

Not only did the Review Team again tell me nothing happened — all of my problems were my father’s fault — but they told me they had no record of my 2002 conversations with Bishop Dolan or Nancy Brown.

I have since talked to Bishop Rick Stika who told me he has seen the file of Fr. Valentine and that my allegations isn’t in it.

The allegation involved inappropriate touching of a minor and was first made to archdiocesan officials in the Summer of 2012. An investigation began immediately.

I spoke to the Archdiocese of St. Louis on May 9, 2011, not during 2012, so I have no idea who this person is or why ArchStL never contacted me in 2013, given it would seem to make my allegation more credible.

THE MATRIX

Everything I’ve described up to this point is terrible — if not unconscionable — but here’s where we get into acts that verge on the criminal.

In January 2014, UNDER COURT ORDER, the Archdiocese of St. Louis produced a spreadsheet -- what came to be known as the matrix -- of "complaints made between 1983 and 2003." The matrix was supposed to be comprehensive, but it wasn't.

I know, because my allegation wasn't in it.

I'm no lawyer, but that sounds like Perjury and, perhaps, even Obstruction of Justice.

While the problems with the matrix may be the sole responsibility of Archbishop Robert Carlson, the current archbishop of St. Louis, it could also be due to the misdeeds of Cardinal Dolan.

about | contact | copyright | sitemap