Sins of the Fathers > Sins > TOC > Bishop Stika Removal Statement

2023 June 27

Why does a guy from St. Louis care so much about Bishop Richard "Rick" Stika and Knoxville?

I can't list all the reasons, and maybe never will -- it's not only my call -- but this letter I sent to the Knoxville News Sentinel lays out some of my argument against Bishop Stika.

Statement on the Removal of Bishop Rick Stika of Knoxville

As a survivor who was himself (psychologically) abused by Bishop Stika, first in the Summer of 2018, and again last week...

"Bp Rick Stika
Chris O'Leary You need to move on. Apparently this has affected your family and your children."

...I had no trouble believing the reports about Knoxville — what I call the Abuse of the Abused — when they first started to come out in 2021 and, especially, when they were picked up by KnoxNews.

They led me to make multiple trips to Knoxville to stand vigil out in front of the cathedral, both calling for Bishop Stika‘s resignation, and, more importantly, trying to WARN the people of Knoxville about the threat Bishop Stika and the Catholic Church continue to pose.


Despite the SPOTLIGHT and the Dallas Charter and Virtus and everything.

All the talk.

Which, I’m sure Volunteers know, is cheap.

A threat EMBODIED by Bishop Stika and his handling of the case of John Doe and the seminarian, as well as that of Jane Doe.

To be clear, the removal of Bishop Stika is a GOOD day for the people of Knoxville, but y’all need to remember this.

Catholic children remain in danger.

And not just Catholics.

And not just children.

As the cases of John Doe and Jane Doe make all to clear.

Bishop Stika was far from the only problematic, willing to do anything to protect the church, Catholic bishop. I know that all too well from my own story of abuse, which includes the involvement of Bishop Stika’s good friend Timothy Cardinal Dolan, the Archbishop of New York, who turned a blind eye to my and our sexual abuse as children.

And was PROMOTED for it, not PUNISHED.

Chris O’Leary
St. Louis, Missouri