Friday, February 14, 2014

Pedophile priest escapes trial as Pope hires expensive lawyers

How is it possible for a repeat child molester, using his status as a priest as a cover-up to stay out on the streets preying on unsuspecting children?  The catholic church makes it possible and has been doing the same thing for many decades.

Davis Clohessy, St. Louis, Director of SNAP*, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests  ( gave an example how this happened in a Missouri case. 

SNAP, started 26 years ago by Barbara Blaine, a survivor of clergy abuse is the largest, oldest and most active self-help group for clergy sex abuse victims, whether assaulted by ministers, priests, nuns or rabbis. SNAP is a confidential, safe place for wounded men and women to be heard, supported and healed. SNAP works tirelessly to achieve two goals: to heal the wounded and to protect the vulnerable. The organization has more than 10,000 members and support groups meet in over 60 cities across the U.S. and the world.

The case was filed more than two years ago (2011). This week St. Louis City Judge Phil Heagney delayed (until July) this child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit against St. Louis Archbishop Robert Carlson and the priest, Joseph D. Ross (whose whereabouts are unknown).  Said Clohessy, “We are saddened by this callous decision. Once again, justice is being delayed because Catholic officials refused, time and time again over months, to obey a court order and because, at the very last minute, they brought in more expensive lawyers…”

From Pope Francis on down the Catholic officials’ hierarchy ladder, they claim to be changing how they deal with clergy abuse.  Not true. For decades, they've exploited every delay tactic possible, made litigation as tough as possible on victims, and obsessively held onto their secrets for as long as possible, and they still do all of the above right now.

Joseph D. Ross walks freely among unsuspecting families and helpless children. Says Clohessy, “And Catholic officials make no effort whatsoever to help police or warn parents, choosing instead to focus their energies and spend their money evading their moral responsibility and hiding their irresponsible actions.”

 How dangerous is Ross? Here is what he has been doing for at least the last 44 years:

The delayed lawsuit said that the molestation began when the female victim, was just five to six years old in the late 1990s and early 2000s. She is now 19 years old. The molestation took place while the victim was in Ross' “care” while her mother was in choir practice. The suit says the abuse took place in various rooms inside the church. 

In September 2008 Ross was arrested for this same crime in Arkansas, where he'd been living since his removal from the priesthood in 2002. In 2010 charges were dropped just before trial and the civil lawsuit was filed in Oct. 2011.

In 1988, Ross had pleaded guilty in St. Louis County Circuit Court to sexually abusing an 11-year-old boy in 1986. Ross had also admitted to police that he'd been arrested twice previously for sexual misconduct with adults, and that he was accused of molesting an 8th grade boy at a parish in the 1970s. He received two years’ probation. The archdiocese sent Ross to St. Luke Institute, a Maryland treatment center for priests with sexual disorders. Any psychologist will tell you that pedophilia is not curable. From there he was assigned to St. Cronan's catholic church. The lawsuit said that the archdiocese knew that Ross had a history of sexual abuse before he was ever assigned to St. Cronan's. Parishioners were not informed of his history of sexual misconduct, including the conviction.

Ross is not the only priest, ex-priest or nun sexually abusing children in their trust. The same facts have been repeated over and over. Always the catholic church, under the leadership of the pope, tries to stop justice for the abused. There are many more examples in my book and if you set a Google alert for “pedophile priest” you will get many more examples delivered to your inbox. It’s time we stop the predators – and that is what the mission of this blog is – to let you know what they did and what they do to our children and to us. If we don’t stop them who will?