Ditching an Abundance of Caution

News: Video Reports
by Kristine Christlieb  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 9, 2022   

Protecting priest, not kids

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Groups in two separate dioceses — Springfield, Massachusetts and St. Louis, Missouri — have complained to the Vatican that St. Louis archbishop Mitchell Rozanski is concealing and mismanaging child sex abuse cases. Just last month, another clergy sex abuse lawsuit was filed in St. Louis City Circuit Court, naming the archbishop as a defendant. Church Militant's Kristine Christlieb brings us the latest from the Gateway City.

Father Alexander Anderson, Abp. Mitchell Rozanski, St. Joseph's Home for Boys and a number of other people and organizations are being sued for sexual battery, fraud, conspiracy to commit fraud and negligent supervision.

Christian Hornbeck, the 35-year-old plaintiff, is at least the fourth victim to accuse Anderson of sexual battery.

St. Joseph's Home for Boys in St. Louis was the scene of the sexual assaults.

Hornbeck was taken by the state from his mother and placed at St. Joseph's in the late 1990s.

While in the facility's care, staff members "brought him to the priest" for counseling, where Fr. Anderson sexually abused him.

When the boy objected, Anderson "became angry" and sent him back to his room where he was "subjected to a beating."

Hornbeck's lawyer, Rebecca Randles of Kansas City, explains why this suit is noteworthy.

Randles: "Alexander Anderson is still in service — and children, without having some sort of investigation, a real investigation into Alexander Anderson — children could still be at risk today."

Rozanski continues to stand behind Anderson, allowing him to minister to families at St. Rose of Lima in rural DeSoto, Missouri, not far from Dittmer, where Theodore McCarrick, another sex abuser, is in exile.

Bishops love invoking "an abundance of caution." But in this case, they've thrown caution to the wind, allowing a priest accused at least four times of sexual abuse to keep associating with children.

Sources in Massachusetts tell Church Militant Rozanski remains the subject of law enforcement investigators.

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