A St. Louis priest accused of molesting a teen, is no longer facing charges.
Father Joseph Jiang had pleaded not guilty to a child endangerment charge before the case was dismissed today. A lawsuit filed on behalf of the victim's family is still active. The family claims that Archbishop Robert Carlson did nothing to stop the abuse.
The Survivors Network of these Abused by Priests released saying they are disappointed. They are now asking for anyone who may have seen or suffered abuse by Father Jiang or others, step forward.
The St. Louis Catholic Archbishop is named in a new lawsuit, accusing him of helping to cover up the sexual abuse of a second-grade girl and teen boy by a priest.
The alleged abuse too place when Archbishop Robert Carlson was a church official in Minneapolis three decades ago. The lawsuit says Carlson was one of three officials who knew of the repeated abuses at the hand of Reverend Robert Thurner. Carlson and the other officials never reported the incidents to police. Lawyers for the alleged victim say they will demand that Carlson answer questions under oath in the case.
Neither Carlson nor the St. Louis Archdiocese have yet commented on the charges.
Some thought he had been an angel, others a ghost, but a mysterious priest who seemed to just appear at a horrific accident scene on Highway 19 near Center, Missouri last week is real. The Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City issued a statement Monday identifying him as Fr. Patrick Dowling of Columbia.
Fr. Dowling has been the subject of speculation since arriving with anointing oils and praying with rescuers and 19-year-old Katie Lentz, of Quincy, Illinois, who was trapped in her mangled car. Then he had seemed to disappear.
The diocese says Fr. Dowling came across the scene while driving between morning Mass assignments.
Fr. Dowling wrote about the August 4 accident in the comments section of story about the crash on the National Catholic Register website. Here is what he wrote:
“I had Mass in Ewing MO as the regular priest was sick. As I was returning, I arrived at the scene. The authorities were redirecting traffic. I waited till it was possible to drive up closer. I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident. I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently. I left when the helicopter was about to take off, and before I got to my car it was on its way to Quincy. I was amazed at the calmness of the two Highway patrol men. The sergeant was completely in control, amazingly calm. Everybody worked as harmoniously as a Swiss watch despite the critical nature of the scene. I gave my name to one of the authorities, perhaps to the sergeant of Highway Patrol, explaining that I was returning having celebrated Mass at Ewing. It was the sergeant who, at the Sheriff’s request, gave me Katie’s name as I was leaving, so I could visit her in hospital—I assumed she would be taken to Columbia. I think there may have been angels there too and, in this context, I congratulate the fire team from New London and Hannibal, the Sheriff/deputies of Ralls County, the Highway Patrol personnel, the helicopter team, the nurses and all who worked so professionally. God has blessed your work. I hope the credit goes where it is due.”
The parents of a young man who committed suicide four years ago want to hold the St. Louis Archdiocese accountable, so they're suing.
KTRS' Vicki Pimentel report the lawsuit claims an alleged sexual assault of the then 13 year old boy at a seminary camp led to a deep depression and ultimately his suicide at age 21.
The suit names the Archdiocese, Archbishop Robert Carlson and defrocked priest Bryan Kuchar as defendants. David Clohessy of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says the Archdiocese has protected priests like Kuchar for too long. "We think it's irresponsible of church officials to recruit, educate, ordain, hire, train, transfer, shield and protect predator priests and then suddenly cut them loose when the legal and public relations heat becomes too hot."
Kuchar has been at the center of investigations before. He was convicted in 2003 of second degree sodomy of a 14 year old boy.
Diocese of Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton announced the move involving 78-year-old Raymond Kownacki in a statement published in a recent edition of the diocesan newspaper, The Messenger. Braxton says the papal decree calls the defrocking "for the good of the church."
Kownacki is living in a St. Louis-area nursing home and has refused media requests for interviews. He has not been charged criminally.
Kownacki's misdeeds resulted in a $5 million jury award against the diocese to James Wisniewski in 2008. That payout grew to $6.3 million to reflect interest that accrued while the diocese appealed.