Sins of the Fathers > Sins of the Fathers > The Program

As early as the mid-1970s, the Archdiocese of St. Louis had in place a program to (try to) manage what had been identified and were known as "troubled" seminarians and priests.


Not expel.

My parish Immacolata, and my pastor Monsignor Cornelius Flavin, was part of the program.

Which is how and why I was sexually abused.

The Program

During the Winter of 2019-2020, while digging into the past of a now bishop who I had been told was an abuser while he was a diocesan priest, I found a document.

Combined with some other information I knew and have found, it makes it clear that the Archdiocese of St. Louis, as early as the mid-1970s...

  1. Know it had a number of "troubled" priests in its ranks.
  2. Made no attempt to expel those priests.
  3. Instead, it put in place a program to try to "manage" those priests.

That program consisted of...

  1. Identifying "troubled" priests.
  2. Sending them to certain parishes with more experienced pastors.
  3. Ensuring that not more than one "troubled" priest was at any parish that was part of the program at the same time.

Obviously, the existence of such a program is a huge scandal because...

  1. Management requires — and implies — knowledge.
  2. Such "troubled" priests were managed, rather than expelled.
  3. Simply trying to manage such troubled priests puts children at risk.

That also raises the question of why such troubled priests were "managed" and not expelled.

I can only assume it was because it was believed that these men were called — BY GOD — to be priests and the Archdiocese of St. Louis wasn't going to question that call.

Even though they knew in advance, to at least some degree, of those priests problems with young boys.

Parishes that were part of The Program included, at least, Immacolata in Richmond Heights and Mary Queen of Peace in Webster Groves.