ST. LOUIS — Two months ago, the Pennsylvania Office of the Attorney General released a significant, 1,356-page report outing 301 priests accused of sexually abusing those in the church. Of those 301 priests, nine were later sent to St. Louis in the midst of a church-wide coverup, which prompted calls for the State of Missouri to open a grand jury-style investigation.
The scathing report, released on July 27, was issued by Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro, detailing the accusations made by several hundred victims in eight Pennsylvania communities over several decades. While the names of the nine priests who were sent to St. Louis for temporary work at parishes and church institutions were listed in the initial report, the names had not been previously identified in St. Louis.
The accused Pennsylvania priests were then-identified as Fr. Joseph D. Hulko; Fr. Samuel B. Slocum; Fr. James R. Adams; Fr. Charles J. Chatt; Fr. Edward G. Huff; Fr. John William Wellinger; Fr. Robert J. Gibson; Fr. William Presley; and Fr. James L. Armstrong. Four of the nine listed in the report were still listed as living.
A spokeswoman with the Archdiocese of St. Louis on Thursday said, "We have found no record that any of these nine were granted faculties to serve in any capacity in the Archdiocese of St. Louis."
Thursday, up to four victims and advocates who belong to the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) will meet to expand their ongoing fight. The group plans to not only publicly reveal the names of those nine priests who worked in St. Louis at one time, but to urge Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley to "both delay and expand" his clergy sex abuse inquiry.
Not long after the release of the report out of Pennsylvania, victims of sex abuse by those in the Catholic church requested the investigation from Hawley's office. As part of the public outing in the Central West End, those with SNAP announced they also plan to hand deliver a letter to Hawley, urging him to "avoid rushing the inquiry for political purposes" and to "devise accountability mechanisms" with continued outreach to victims in the state.
Speaking with 5 On Your Side in August, St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson acknowledged cases of abuse in the past, but added he was confident the church had nothing to hide.
Read the Attorney General's report in its entirety below.