Sins of the Fathers > Sins of the Fathers > TOC > VOS ESTIS Violations by ArchStL

December 2, 2019

Pope Francis
The Vatican

Holy Father,

I am a survivor of abuse in St. Louis, MO.

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 the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Abuse that started during Face To Face confession and that, at least in part, was witnessed by then Father and now...

I'm writing to let you know that the Archdiocese of St. Louis is in knowing and willful violation of multiple aspects of VOS ESTIS LUX MUNDI, particularly...

Art. 5 – Care for persons
1. ...those who state that they have been harmed, together with their families, are to be treated with dignity and respect, and, in particular, are to be...
c) offered medical assistance, including therapeutic and psychological assistance...
2. The good name and the privacy of the persons involved, as well as the confidentiality of their personal data, shall be protected.

First, and most grievously, as the Archdiocese of St. Louis makes clear on its own website, they — still, despite the enaction of VOS ESTIS — offer survivors of abuse nothing but thoughts and prayers...

I confirmed that when my archbishop (finally) agreed to meet with me...

I explained all this to you in my previous letter, which I believe Cardinal Sean O'Malley delivered personally in September 2019.

However, I've heard nothing in reply.

Second, while my abuse was privately acknowledged, it was publicly denied by the Archdiocese of St. Louis...

Despite the enaction of VOS ESTIS and my having made multiple personal appeals to him both before and after June 1, 2019, Archbishop Carlson refuses to retract the lies and false allegations, clear my name, and restore my reputation.

Much less help me.

What's more, those public denials are now part of a...

And worse.

Just a few weeks ago, at prayer service for survivors, I was subjected to... a member of the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

Since 2017, I've been trying to make the Church and you aware of problems with how the Archdiocese of St. Louis treats survivors...

But I've never received a reply.

Much less help.

So here I am again, coming up on six months after VOS ESTIS went into effect, writing to let you know it is not working in the Archdiocese of St. Louis; it has had no effect on the treatment of survivors by Archbishop Robert Carlson and ArchStL.

I'm survivor who's lost EVERYTHING at the hands of the Catholic Church, both back then and more recently.

PLEADING with you to help me.

And us.

But will you?


Chris O'Leary
St. Louis, MO