April 06, 2006

Group wants review of center where Kansas sent abusive ex-priest

Wichita Eagle

Associated Press
ST. LOUIS -- Victims of abuse by Roman Catholic priests on Wednesday asked Missouri's governor to investigate two residential centers where abusive and convicted priests are sent for rehabilitation.

The St. John Vianney Center in Dittmer and Evergreen Hill in Robertsville lack adequate oversight, said David Clohessy of St. Louis, national director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). The group is seeking an investigation into how the facilities operate and what security measures are in place to ensure the safety of children in surrounding communities.

"We find it troubling that the state regulates cosmetologists and undertakers but not Catholic priests who supervise abusive Catholic priests," Clohessy said. "These centers operate with no state oversight whatsoever. Church officials time and time again tell judges and prosecutors these facilities are secure, when they are not."

The request comes after the Rev. Robert Larson, who was recently released after spending five years in a Kansas prison for molesting four children, was sent to live permanently at the St. John Vianney Center in Dittmer, about 30 miles south of St. Louis.

Posted by kshaw at April 6, 2006 07:44 AM