Sins of the Fathers > Sins > TOC > Abuse of the Abused

Everybody's telling me to just move on.

But nobody can tell me how.

How to move on from here.

The place where, 40 years ago, I ended up after being sexually exploited, abused, and assaulted by a priest.

And I'm not sure that -- even if it was possible -- "just" moving on is even a good idea.

The right thing to do.

Because that sexual exploitation and abuse was witnessed, at least in part, by a man who was a priest, and is now a Cardinal, of the Catholic Church.

And Pope Francis refuses to enforce VOS ESTIS -- his supposed survivors bill of rights -- and hold that now Cardinal accountable, and force the Archdiocese of St. Louis to help me and my fellow survivors.

18 years after the Dallas Charter and the events portrayed in the movie SPOTLIGHT, it's debatable how much has changed.



And, perhaps, because of it.

Because of how the Catholic Church is organized and run — and by whom — what happened in Boston as a result of the SPOTLIGHT revelations had a VERY limited impact on the rest of the Catholic Church. And the Catholic press and the church's lay boosters don't seem particularly interested in the reality of the situation.

For survivors.

And, by extension, kids.

And, the fact is, innocent children remain very much at risk in the Catholic Church.

I say that based, in part, on the treatment of survivors.

What I call the abused of the abused.

Fr. LeRoy Valentine and Fr. Tim Dolan

The Church of the Immacolata
First Communion (1979)

My name is Chris O'Leary and I'm a survivor of the Catholic Church's sex abuse crisis. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, I was sexually exploited, abused, and assaulted — raped — by Fr. LeRoy Valentine at the Church of the Immacolata in Richmond Heights, MO, a suburb of St. Louis.

In that church, right over there.

Abuse that, at least in part, then Father, and now Cardinal, Timothy Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, saw.

And turned a blind eye to.


Stunningly, and tragically, men like like Timothy Cardinal Dolan, rather than being held accountable for what they did — and did NOT do — back in the depths of the crisis, and then again in 2002, are now running the Catholic Church.

So, not surprisingly, VERY little has changed.


In the hearts of these men who turned blind eye to our abuse when we were innocent children and then gaslighted us when we went to them for help as traumatized adults.

In August 2018, the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report was released. That led to a number of things, including investigations of Archdioceses like my own Archdiocese of St. Louis.

It also led the Archdiocese of St. Louis to hold a Mass of Reparation, which I attended.

Chris O'Leary Vigil

September 13, 2019

I stood silently, out front of the Cathedral Basilica, holding two pictures...

Chris O'Leary with Fr. LeRoy Valentine

December 26, 1980

...of me, from my time at Immacolata, with my abuser Fr. LeRoy Valentine.

Chris O'Leary with Fr. LeRoy Valentine

November 1980

And I was COMPLETELY ignored.

By EVERY SINGLE ONE of the priests in attendance.

A survivor.


At the Mass of Reparation for sexual abuse.

Sure, the Catholic Church SAYS it's sorry for what happened to my fellow survivors and me. And it wants to help us.

But talk is cheap.

Actions speak louder than words

And the fact is that my own Archdiocese of St. Louis ignores survivors. It refuses to help us.

It does NOTHING to help us.


And it continues to run a Smear Campaign against me.

Despite Vos Estis.


Because the Pope won't enforce Vos Estis.


Because that would mean holding accountable the hierarchy of the Catholic Church. People like Timothy Cardinal Dolan.

People who, I can only assume, were just following orders.

And who is Pope Francis to judge them?

What's worse, neither the Catholic nor the mainstream press, in St. Louis at least, will touch the story. Neither will Missouri Attornies General, and now Senator, Josh Hawley or current MO AG Eric Schmitt.

Instead, everybody's trying to help the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Catholic Church.

But, in doing that, are they — actually — supporting and protecting it? Or are they Enabling it?

Interfering with the understanding and discussion of exactly what happened to us?

And why.

Why were we sacrificed?

And, if we don't know why WE were sacrificed as kids, and now as adults, who's to say that the same sick justifications and rationalizations aren't still in place?

Meaning innocent children remain at risk.

The fact is too many Catholics remain afraid to ask the hard questions about what happened.

Then and now.

But I'll be damned if I allow what happened to me to happen to anyone else.

So I will ask the hard questions and do the digging that is necessary.

Because, when I look at the example Jesus Christ set on Palm Sunday, when he entered Jerusalem to a certain and KNOWN fate, I know that, if HE could do that, I can do this.