Sins of the Fathers > Sins > TOC > VOS ESTIS: The Reality

Vos Estis Lux Mundi was a 2019, temporary amendment to and expansion of the Canon Law of the Catholic Church that, among other things, included a...

  • Bill of Rights for Survivors
  • Code of Conduct for Bishops

The problem with VOS ESTIS is that, while it was widely touted as transformative, it expired in 2022 and wasn't renewed.

Then there's that fact that VOS ESTIS, at least Article 5, wasn't ENFORCED by Pope Francis and the Catholic Church.



A cruel taunt, directed at survivors.

Vos Estis: The Reality

On May 9, 2019 Pope Francis published, and on June 1, 2019 put into effect Vos Estis Lux Mundi which, among other things, contains a survivors bill of rights.

Art. 5 – Care for persons
1. The ecclesiastical Authorities shall commit themselves to ensuring that 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:
a) welcomed, listened to and supported, including through provision of specific services;
b) offered spiritual assistance;
c) offered medical assistance, including therapeutic and psychological assistance, as required by the specific case.
2. The good name and the privacy of the persons involved, as well as the confidentiality of their personal data, shall be protected.

The problem is Vos Estis has had NO effect on the lives of survivors.

Well, no POSITIVE effect.

For example, I have yet to be offered "medical assistance, including therapeutic and psychological assistance" by the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

And Vos Estis hasn't ended the...

All because Pope Francis has yet to enforce Vos Estis, in my case, at least.

My Experience with VOS ESTIS

Since a few weeks after Vos Estis went into effect, I've been trying to alert Pope Francis and the Vatican to problems in the Archdiocese of St. Louis — their refusal to honor the promises made to survivors in Vos Estis — via what has become a series of e-mails.

In that time, I've NEVER received a single reply.

It's since become clear to me that Vos Estis was just another P.R. exercise designed to give the impression that the Catholic Church cares about survivors and placate the faithful.

It's yet another papal initiative with no substance — and no CHRIST — behind it.

It does nothing for survivors.

It only taunts us.

Creating yet another false hope.

Misdeeds By ArchStL

What am I trying to make Pope Francis and the Vatican aware of?

In my piece discussing the Abuse of the Abused, I give an overview of the misdeeds of Archbishop Robert Carlson and the Archdiocese of St. Louis.

While my hope was that the June 1, 2019 enaction of VOS ESTIS would improve things, things are no better.

And, in a few cases, things are worse.

The Vatican Knows

The problem isn't that the Pope doesn't know about my problems. Cardinal Sean O'Malley of Boston has assured me that he has personally made the Pope's office, at least, aware of the problems I'm having.

Cardinal Sean O'Malley Letter to Chris OLeary

Rather, the problem is that the Vatican, and presumably the Pope, simply don't care about survivors.


Failure to Assist Survivors

While Archdiocese of St. Louis does have a person they call an Assistance Coordinator, as I learned in March 2019, their duties are EXTREMELY limited...

ArchStL: What is your understanding of what an Assistance Coordinator does?
ChrisOLeary: Well, that they are supposed to, you know, help set up, arrange for treatment and help pay for treatment.
ArchStL: OK. So, typically, what Carol (Brescia) does… And you’ve talked to Carol… What Carol does is… Anybody in the diocese is free to call her. And what she does is link people to therapists if they do not have one. So that’s kind of her role for us.

Sandra Price on Assistance Coordinators (MP3)

That hasn't changed as October 4, 2020.


The preferred tactic of the Archdiocese of St. Louis when deal with survivors is to ignore survivors' pleas for help, I assume in the hope we will just go away. This Stonewalling began before the June 1, 2019 effective date of Vos estis and continued after it. And I have the e-mails to prove it.

Smear Campaign as de facto Confidentiality Agreement

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has been waging a Smear Campaign against me for the past year and a half.

…when asked to comment on O’Leary’s account, “The archdiocese’s record of Mr. O’Leary’s allegations are significantly different...Jones also said the information O’Leary shared initially changed multiple times...

I informed Archbishop Robert Carlson that this was a lie on March 26, 2019 but, as of June 1, 2019, he had yet to clarify, much less retract, the above statement.

False Allegations of
Terroristic Threats

Lying to the people of St. Louis to isolate me and ensure I'm not believed isn't the only abusive thing the Archdiocese of St. Louis has done. ArchStL also lied to law enforcement — they falsely accused me of making Terroristic Threats against ArchStL and Archbishop Carlson — to harass, intimidate, and terrorize me.

I informed Archbishop Carlson of this on March 26, 2019 and received a private, verbal apology from Sandra Price of ArchStL during that meeting...

ChrisOLeary: ...I know allegations have been made against me that I’ve made “Terroristic Threats” against the Archdiocese… (THE) Shrewsbury (POLICE DEPARTMENT) has a file with that heading…
SandraPrice: Can I comment on that? So we never, to my knowledge, called it a “Terroristic Threat.”
ChrisOLeary: That’s fine. That’s the name of the file of the investigation.
SandraPrice: All I can do is say, “I’m sorry.”

...but haven't received a public apology or retraction March 26, 2019, much less after the June 1, 2019 effective date of Vos estis.

Threatening to Expose Confidential Information

On July 1, 2019, one month AFTER Vos estis went into effect, Sandra Price of The Archdiocese of St. Louis threatened to expose confidential information about me. That is at least a violation of Vos estis, if not a criminal act. And not the only criminal act ArchStL has committed.

Papal Nuncio

I've sent at least five e-mails to/though the Papal Nuncio. I've never received an acknowledgement, much less a reply, from the Papal Nuncio.