| Benedict XVI|
weak fall prey to self-interests, opting for situational ethics to support their self-dealing decision making.
you off. They make you feel very much
alone in order to eliminate any threat
they perceive in you as a witness to their
deeds. Those who fail to meet the challenge paint you as a bad person rather than support you as the good person you really are: a victim of misadventure and brutality.
an international scale at the highest levels of trust in the Church as another layer of horror unfolds in the clergy sex abuse scandal. We now know that even Benedict the XVI shielded child molesters
as the archbishop of Munich.
the beginning, the Rev. Friedrich Fahr, ‘always remained personally, exceptionally connected’ to Cardinal Ratzinger. . .”
the Deaf in St. Francis, Wis., by the Rev. Lawrence C. Murphy.
at St. Peter’s, the Pope belittled the facts regarding his management of the Bavarian branch of the Church in Germany
as rumor-mongering despite the evidence to the contrary.
Since then he has called on the archbishop of New York,
Timothy M. Cardinal Dolan, to denounce the evidence as a
sinister smear campaign.
his career defending the most notorious child molesters
that the archdiocese of St. Louis has produced in the last
10 years, including the Rev. Michael A. Campbell and
the Rev. Bryan M. Kuchar.
a senior. Michael Campbell was one of my best friends. Nearly
15 years later, Matthew Cosby (see below) became a classmate
of Kuchar. Our knowledge of these folks is personal and well
placed. As their former vocation director and supervisor you probably know even more about them.
Visualizing an organized network of deceit and collusion
is incomprehensible. And this glimpse at the management
style of Benedict XVI provides a devastating account of the
machinations that have been maneuvered to protect pedophile
priests during the three decades as head of the agency once
called The Holy Office of the Inquisition.
|Joseph M. Marling, C.P.P.S.|
by 35 other dioceses and religious orders
before being accepted by Jefferson City.
This alarming fact, deliberately ignored
by Bishop Joseph M. Marling launched
a career that damaged so many youngsters and with this project we will offer some details about this tragedy; identify predators who you have protected for so many years; and give victims the opportunity this time round to have their say while preserving their privacy with pseudonyms. After all,
you know the names of each child
predator and his prey.
of Holy Family in Hannibal, whom O’Connell appointed to the Jefferson City diocesan vocation committee. Perhaps the most startling fact about Christopher’s story is that he brought charges against these after he himself was ordained and a member of the STAS faculty, working side-by-side with these sexual predators.
to eliminate medical care for Kent: O’Connell’s 10th and most recent publicly identified victim. As with Morgan, the Rev. Frank Westhoff’s victim, Kent is supported by a few courageous priests working in the diocese. His case is ongoing today and his story follows below.
14 O’Connell cases; and the families and loved ones of victims
have reported eight addittional cases. Investigators and legal experts estimate that O’Connell molested between 150 and
200 students during his 25-year at St. Thomas, based on the psychological profile of a serial predator.
fully in the civil suits filed his victims. But the stories contained in forthcoming correspondence from eye-witnesses and the details of the career of this serial predator who was viewed affection and gratitude have been hidden from public view until now (for more information visit Come to the Stable/The Stephen Spalding Foundation and Remember the Survivors).
of O’Connell victims have been documented, some molested throughout the course of their entire four years at STAS. Sympathetic Jefferson City priests have confirmed many
of these allegations against O’Connell.
At the USCCB’s 2003 summer conference in St. Louis, a Post-Dispatch reporter told me that O’Connell was turned down by at least
35 dioceses, seminaries, and religious orders before Bishop Marling ordained him as a priest in 1963 for the Diocese of Jefferson City
and installed at St. Thomas. Since then Joe Rigert, an investigative reporter, has documented O’Connell’s notorious career in An Irish Tragedy: How Sex Abuse by Irish Priests Helped Cripple the
Perry Mason television series: The Case
of the Vagabond Vixen (original air date
31 December 1969). One of the criminal
characters in the storyline says to the
famous criminal defense attorney: “You
didn’t study law in a seminary school.”
The implication being that Mason’s
high-mindedness is a pretense masking his willingness to skirt the law to protect a guilty client. But as we know, Perry Mason always does the right thing.
at his private residence.
|O’Connell Victim 12: “Jordan”|
throughout his St. Thomas
career (1981-1985), according
to the Jefferson City priest
who has been the victim’s
advocate for more than
|O’Connell Victim 11: “Kip”|
was ordained and served in a prominent management capacity as the public face of the Church.
|O’Connell Victim 10: Matthew|
than a decade after I graduated.
A member of STAS Class of
1986, he represents the third generation of O’Connell victims at St. Thomas.
The Rev. Brian Driscoll (left to right), Bishop John R. Gaydos,
and Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe worked in concert to intimidate
O’Connell victims and protect other STAS predators such as the
Rev. James P. McNally and the Rev. Manus P. Daly.
I read O’Connell’s cloying e-mail messages promising cash rewards for his silence. I read O’Connell’s transcripts detailing his fear
O’Connell’s 18 March 2002 e-mail message pleading with his
victim to keep his secret, naming the Rev. Brian Driscoll as his
I experienced Matthew’s terror first-hand as you sought to silence the truth and bury the past.
As with Victim 14, Edmund, Matthew represents another hallmark in the arc of O’Connell’s predatory career. By the mid-80’s, O’Connell sexual gratification had moved from voyeuristic and non-threatening sexual encounters to bedding STAS students. In addition, his need for variety and type became more pronounced as he began to recruit young boys statewide to study for the priesthood at the Hannibal boarding school.
into O’Connell’s grasp when Bernard Cardinal Law, as the bishop of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, sent the young boy to St. Thomas. Law
and O’Connell developed an intimate friendship as a result of their professional connection. Law appreciated O’Connell fundraising and recruitment skills. As Law moved up the ecclesiastical ladder, so did O’Connell: their reputations exposed late in life with all the horrid details they we’ve come to know all too well.
|O’Connell Victim 9: “Kent”|
be publicly identified and
9th target in the STAS timeline. The situation remains unchanged.
when O’Connell molested him. When Kent’s father learned of the molestation, he removed his son from St. Thomas and O’Connell’s snare.
|O’Connell Victim 8: Christopher|
of abuse by O’Connell, Daly, and
Fischer have nurtured our
courage to demand justice.
He also represents the second
generation of O’Connell’s known
St. Thomas victims. His courage
permits us to draft this correspondence and to renew our demand for the full disclosure of the events that led to the demise of the seminary in Hannibal and encourage other victims to come forward. O’Connell molested Christopher throughout his St. Thomas career (1975-1979).
|O’Connell Victim 7: “Duncan”|
throughout his St. Thomas
academic career (1968-1972).
Duncan was a sweet and tender youth from Monroe City, where his father had retired from the Navy. He was bright and intelligent.
and Latin teacher, was charmed by him as well.
St. Thomas. Eventually, Duncan began to travel with O’Connell; they toured Ireland together; he met O’Connell’s family. And, then, Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe began to take an interest in Duncan.
Many of us sensed a rivalry had developed between O’Connell and McAuliffe for control of the boy. We now have to wonder what Duncan suffered as result of this familiarity with his teachers and mentors.
What price did he have to pay for this attention?
|O’Connell Victim 5: “Zachary”|
STAS Class of 1970.
O’Connell molested Zachary throughout his sophomore year (1967-1968), usually when he monitored
the student dormitories, which was a nightly routine. The pretext for the molestation was to help O’Connell better understand the functions of one’s anatomy so that he could properly counsel Carter, who was Zachary’s friend.
dean of students, spiritual director, and rector. O’Connell
often meandered through the student quarters three times
a night. And in Zachary’s case, he would stand by his bed
at night (he had the top bunk-bed) and fondle him in the
darkness, waking him at 2:00 a.m., 4:00 a.m., or whatever
time he chose.
Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe
experienced no qualm of
in the criminal activity of
Anthony J. O’Connell by
protecting the pedophile
priest from prosecution
and promoting his friend’s
a member of my freshman class, was
troubled by masturbation. O’Connell
said he could not help Carter avoid sin,
because he did not know how an erect
penis looked or felt. But Zachary could
help by letting O’Connell examine his
body during bed checks. Zachary agreed
and the abuse remained constant
throughout his sophomore year.
family was closely allied with the Church
and members of his family worked at
the Chancery. His experience with
O’Connell, needless to say, has affected
his personal life so adversely.
well connected, with a loving family. But
he has married and divorced three times. He never disclosed to his wives his encounters with O’Connell. He has lived in fear that his former spouses will use the information to deny him access to his children.
|O’Connell Victim 4: “Alexander”|
the STAS graduation Class of 1970. Like Zachary, he was
a Jefferson City resident.
Michael Wegs was molested by O’Connell during his freshman and sophomore years at St. Thomas (1967-1969).
locker-room and showering observations.
He was blunt about penis size, erections,
musculature, pubic hair, and similar features. O’Connell usually directed the conversation toward my friend, Larry, to elicit salacious details: Did I know if Larry masturbated? Would I like to have sexual relations with Larry? How big was Larry’s chest?
junior and he became my new spiritual director. O’Connell attempted to dissuade the boy from seeing Daly, claiming that his spiritual progress
would be harmed.
|O’Connell Victim 2: “Terence”|
O’Connell Victim 1:
Stephen Spalding, 1971
reporting the abuse to the rector, Father Richard Kaiser, and the chancery, Stephen enrolled at Jefferson City High School, where
he graduated. I continued on to graduate in 1971.
St. Thomas. Stephen’s sister, Sarah Spalding, reported O’Connell’s
sexual transgressions to civil authorities when she learned that
Michael, too, was a victim of this pedophile.
only this special memory of a young boy who wanted to be friends. O’Connell offered various reasons for the Stephen’s departure. At first, he said Stephen didn’t like the boarding school environment. Then, Stephen didn’t have a vocation. And then, Stephen wanted to go to public school.
of 29. Nonetheless, he will always be a part of my childhood memories: he is the first stranger I met in life who wanted to
be my friend. He is a friend lost in time.