Sins of the Fathers
ChrisOLeary.com > Sins of the Fathers > TOC > It Happened. Or did it?

There are many things the Archdiocese of St. Louis has done that fall under The Abuse of the Abused. But the simplest and the most devastating -- and act of callous depravity -- is a lie they told the people of St. Louis.

A lie Archbishop Carlson of ArchStL simply will not retract.

Can't retract? For fear of scandal?

Despite my making him aware of it, and asking him to retract it, personally, on March 26, 2019.

A lie that denies my core truth.

It Happened.

It Happened. Or Did It?

In early February 2018 I was trying to alert the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops to the fact that the promise of an Assistance Coordinator for survivors was a sham.

I was trying to blow the whistle on the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

To try to get them to do the right thing.

Or have USCCB force them to do the right thing.

Sandra Price E-Mail

The day after I sent an e-mail to a contact at USCCB, and CCed a number of folks at the Archdiocese of St. Louis to let them know I was trying to expose what they were doing, to my surprise -- and shock -- I received the following e-mail from the head of the Office of Child and Youth Protection of ArchStL...

February 5, 2018

Hi Chris,
I wanted to respond to you on behalf of the Archdiocese of Saint Louis.

You chose to litigate your claims of sexual abuse by Rev. Leroy Valentine. Your claims were acknowledged by Deacon Phil Hengen, the Archdiocese of Saint louis and the court system. This matter has been fully settled through litigation and is final. Because your claim has been fully settled and is final the Archdiocese of Saint Louis will not be responding to any further inquiries regarding these claims. Please know that you and all victims of abuse are in my prayers and I do hope that you are able to find peace in the future. I wish you the best.

Sandra Price
Archdiocese of St. Louis

While the lies in that e-mail well and truly triggered me, it left me stunned because it acknowledged my basic truth.

It Happened.

However, that feeling of affirmation and validation was, sadly, short-lived.

Gabe Jones Statement

In the April 28, 2018 piece by Aisha Sultan entitled Priest Sex Abuse Survivor Says Trauma Lingers in which I went public, Gabe Jones of the Archdiocese of St. Louis said the following...

…when asked to comment on O’Leary’s account, “The archdiocese’s record of Mr. O’Leary’s allegations are significantly different; however, due to a court order as well as our own ethical obligation, we are not at liberty to discuss Mr. O’Leary’s case.” Jones also said the information O’Leary shared initially changed multiple times by the time he broke off communication with the Office of Child and Youth Protection.

In other words, while Sandra Price of ArchStL privately admitted to me via e-mail that It Happened, ArchStL publicly told the people of St. Louis I'm lying.

Archbishop Carlson Meeting

On March 26, 2019 I took Archbishop Carlson of the Archdiocese of St. Louis up on his offer and met with him.

Sandra Price was also there.

In that meeting, I gave Archbishop Carlson two pieces of paper, one with the Sandra Price quote...

Your claims were acknowledged...you and all victims of abuse...

...and another with the Gabe Jones quote.

“The archdiocese’s record of Mr. O’Leary’s allegations are significantly different...the information O’Leary shared initially changed multiple times..."

I explained to Archbishop Carlson that the two pieces were contradictory and explained that the consequences of the second, Gabe Jones quote, in particular, included my being shunned by and cut off from my parish and my family.

I then asked Archbishop Carlson to make some form of public statement and/or retraction or clarification so that the people of St. Louis -- including my children and my ex-parish friends -- will stop thinking I'm a liar.

Carlson said nothing in reply.

And has done nothing in the intervening two months.

It that because he won't?

Or can't?

Or because he simply doesn't care?

Why "It Happened" Matters

It Happened.

When it comes to my sanity, and making sense of and coming to terms with all that happened to me then and since, that statement of my truth is what matters.

Which makes the Archdiocese of St. Louis' refusal to acknowledge my truth -- while logical -- especially cold and callous.

For a while I was able to find some peace.

However, it's that very basic lie, and the consequences of it, that is serving as a form of Gaslighting -- a lie told to manpulate a psychologically vulnerable person -- and is keeping me from being able to move on.

Despite the fact that I very DESPERATELY want to move on.