The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Childproof 6: An Early Historical Snapshot of Clergy Sexual Abuse in Jefferson City, Mo.


Page 6

Editorial Update:  5 September 2012

Dear Bishop Gaydos:

Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald
Servants of the Paraclete
The Rev. Gerald Fitzgerald, the founder of the Servants of the Paraclete and who established the Via Coeli Treatment Center, in Jemez Springs, N.M., advised the American bishops in 1957 that they should cooperate with the civil authorities and turn predatory priests over for prosecution.  Fitzgerald’s recommendation reads, in part: 

“[We] have adopted a definite
policy not to recommend to
Bishops men of this character.  We feel that the protection of
our glorious priesthood will
demand, in time, the establishment of a uniform
code of discipline and of penalties.  We are amazed
to find how often a man who would be behind bars
if he were not a priest is entrusted with the cura
animarum [care of souls].”

Records indicate that Fitzgerald would accept pedophile priests as permanent “guests” only to help save his soul, but with no hope of recommending him to a bishop.  Last week, we learned for the first time in a startling disclosure that Fitzgerald reiterated his concern
in a letter to Pope Paul VI, dated 27 August 1963.

In his correspondence with Paul VI, Fitzgerald addresses the situation with forthrightness: 

“Personally, I am not sanguine of the return
of priests to active duty who have been
addicted to abnormal practices, especially
sins with the young .  .  .  .  Where there is
indication of incorrigibility, because of the
tremendous scandal given, I would most
earnestly recommend total laicization .  .  .  . 

I say ‘total .  .  .  because when these
men are taken before civil authority, the
non-Catholic world definitely blames the
discipline of celibacy for the perversion
of these men.”

In another 1957 letter to an unnamed archbishop — apparently to Archbishop Edwin V.  Byrne of Santa Fe, N.M., who was considered a cofounder of the Paraclete facility at Jemez Springs and a good friend of Fitzgerald.  Fitzgerald wrote: 

“These men, Your Excellency, are devils and
the wrath of God is
upon them and if I were
a bishop I would tremble when I failed to

report them to Rome for involuntary layization
[sic] .  .  .  .  It is for
this class of rattlesnake
I have always wished the island retreat —
even an island is too good for these vipers of
whom the Gentle
Master said it were better
they had not been born — this is an
way of saying damned, is it not?”

But the concern about pedophile priests was very well known to the Vatican long before the 1960s.  The 1917 code of canon law criminalized child molestation.  Five years later, the Vatican issued a document outlining detailed procedures for handling such crimes against children.  In 1962, that document was updated and has been used in many of the lawsuits by victims against U.S. diocese and the Vatican itself. 

Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa
Benedict’s Personal Homilist
Of course we understand that celibacy
is not the issue.  Nor is sexual orientation is the issue.  This scandal is the result of an organizational mindset determined to protect pedophiles and sexual predators for the sake of public relations and fund raising.

And, yet, William Cardinal Levada, who succeeded Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, thinks he can continue to cover up this massive scandal by labeling the facts as lies as each disclosure surfaces for public scrutiny.  Court depositions, of course, show that Levada — as the archbishop of both Portland, Oregon (1986-1995), and San Francisco, Calif. (1995-2005) — has participated in the same cabal that has engaged in collusion to shield child predators on a global scale. 

Padre Cantalamessa preaching to Pope Benedict XVI in 2012. 

The fact that Benedict XVI would allow Good Friday services to be used to smear the victims of pedophile priests indicates the level of fear as discovery of the complete truth continues.  The Pope’s personal preacher, the
Rev. Raniero Cantalamessa, compared the international outrage at child molestation scandal to the persecution of the Jews. 

“I am following with indignation the violent and concentric attacks against the Church, the Pope and all the faithful by the whole world.  The use of stereotypes, the passing from personal responsibility and guilt to a collective guilt remind me of the more shameful aspects of anti-Semitism.” 

Cantalamessa has posted the full text of his Good Friday sermon on his website.  The sermon is entitled:  We have a great High Priest. 

Pedophile Priests and the Diocese of Jefferson City
The history of clergy sexual abuse extends beyond 1957 when the state of Missouri was divided between the Archdiocese of St. Louis and the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph. 

Rev. Robert G. Scobee
According to the Official Catholic Directory (OCD), for example, that Rev. Robert G.  Scobee (deceased, 30 April 1979) was transferred (1970-1972) to the notorious Via Coeli Treatment Center operated by the Servants of the Paraclete in Jemez Springs, N.M.  Scobee was pastor of Immaculate Conception Church, Moberly (1939), which now known as St. Pius X and the infamous assignment of the Rev. John Whiteley.   

The OCD also identifies the Rev. John B. DeAngelis (deceased, 13 February 1989) as a 10-year resident (1973-1983) of Via Coeli, the American bishops’ first attempt to cover-up the pedophile priest scandal. 

We can only assume that DeAngelis was accepted on this basis.  His assignment history prior to 1955 was with the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph, Mo.  Almost immediately he was granted what appears to be a five-year “sick leave” with Jefferson City in 1960, followed by an assignment at Holy Cross Church, Cuba, 1965 and at St. Cecilia Church, Meta, 1968.  DeAngelis retired to Jefferson City, 1987-1989.

Joplin Globe
Friday, July 7, 1944, p. 3

Troop 7 Boy Scouts Plan Salvage Drive
Waste Paper and Empty Beverage Bottles to Be Collected in City-Wide Canvass July 13-15 

Joplin residents have been asked to co-operate with Boy Scouts of troop 7 in making a success of a salvage collection of empty beverage bottles and waste paper next week. 

In a concentrated campaign, members of the troop will conduct a house-to-house campaign July 13, 14, and 15 for bottles and scrap paper. Beverage bottles are needed badly by bottling companies, because of a shortage of the containers and because of large demand for beverages during the summer months. 

Persons desiring to donate bottles and scrap paper to the scouts may contact Robert Berg, scoutmaster, or leave the articles on the stone platform at the west side of St Peter's grade school Eighth Street and Byers Avenue where the troop meets.

Proceeds for sale of the scrap materials to salvage dealers will go to the troop treasury to be used in purchasing camping equipment and other Boy Scout needs. 

Troop 7 was awarded a large tent recently by the South Joplin Lions Club for taking first place in a three-day collection of empty beverage bottles in June. The Troup collected 9,765 bottles of all kinds, leading city troops in the drive.  

The Rev John B. DeAngelis, assistant pastor of St Peter's Catholic Church which sponsors the troop, is chaplain. 

Scobee’s other assignments include St. Joseph Church, Westphalia, 1973-1974; no reference in the OCD 1975 edition:  retirement in Hannibal (1976-1979).The Scobee and DeAngelis matters are a prelude to further scandal in the Diocese of Jefferson City. 

John Patrick Cardinal Cody kneels
before John Paul I as the future
John Paul II stands behind him
during a papal audience on
3 September 1978.
In addition to the DeAngelis item, the Joplin Globe’s front page coverage included headlines about a circus fire in Hartford Conn. (135 people died in the blaze); Charles DeGaulle’s arrival in Washington, D.C., for a meeting with Franklin D. Roosevelt; U.S. troops retreating for a second time from Le Haye, France; and Churchill’s disclosure that buzz bombs had killed 2,752 people and wounded another 8,000 Britons in the previous three weeks of attacks on London by German armed forces.  

DeAngelis’ personnel would provide file provide an incisive review, as well as an historical snapshot, of the pedophile priest cover-up in Missouri if it were available for scrutiny.  What did Edwin V. O’Hara, the archbishop of Kansas City (1939-1956), know about this particular predatory priest? 

O’Hara’s successor, John Patrick Cardinal Cody (1907-1982), would have known about any issues relating to child molestation.  As the archbishop of Chicago (1965–82), Cody, a St. Louis native and the son of Irish immigrantswas one of the most powerful members of the hierarchy of the American church of 20th Century. 

Cody, like Robert W. Finn, the current bishop of Kansas City-St. Joseph, began his career at the age of 13 as a high school student at St. Louis Preparatory Seminary.  And like Finn, Cody's time in Chicago was marked by strife and controversy, including federal investigations of financial improprieties (approximately one million dollars of church funds disappeared under his tenure). 

The F.B.I. and the Diocese of Jefferson City
The Diocese of Jefferson was launched with significant manpower from priests recruited from Ireland.  The Irish established a binary power structure that remains in place today. 

John Patrick Cardinal Cody:
an architect of the authorian
management philosophy that
coddles pedophile priests in
the United States today.
For many years, the American priests
referred to the immigrant clergy as the
F.B.I.:  Foreign Born Irish.  They also
resented the Irishmen and power they
exerted over Bishop Joseph F.  Marling: 

he was man held hostage by this coterie
as he tried to manage the diocese
responsibly.  Whenever they disagreed

with Marling, they threatened to decamp
en masse and return to Ireland and
immediately were able to shore up
their political capital.

The Rev. Manus Daly offered these
details during visits to his cabin at
the Lake of the Ozarks when I was a seminarian.  He was assigned to acclimate new FBI recruits to an American diet such as catfish, corn-on-the-cob, and mashed potatoes (the Irish thought catfish was like a dogfish; cobbed corn was pig fodder; and boiled potatoes were traditional staple).  He also instructed them in diocesan political discourse.

Many of the Irish recruits never intended to remain the United States.  But as they discovered the benefits of Social Security and the scope of retirement potential, they realized that they could have their cake and take it back to Ireland to enjoy in old age. 

But Irish recruitment also developed an unsavory reputation as we’ve learned with O’Connell, Behan, and others. 

The Father Mohan Incident
Of course, you are well aware of the Rev. James J. Mohan pedophile cases that have been hidden from public view for at least 20 years. 

Mohan, an Irish priest, is known to have molested a number of youngsters at his last assignment as pastor of Visitation Church in Vienna.  He also molested at least one other youngster at Immaculate Conception Church in Montgomery City. 

The following verbatim account by a well-placed diocesan source is a tragic review of Mohan’s affiliation with the diocese and sex crimes against children: 

“One ancient’ incident about which I would be willing to swear in court occurred 30 years .  .  .  Fr. James Mohan .  .  .  was right out of the Guest House [chemical dependency treatment center for clergy and religious] and was back to drinking within a month of going to Vienna [on September 1st]. 

“Some months after that he suddenly disappeared into thin air, and some of my former parishioners called me in Jefferson City to ask if I knew anything about it.  I went to Msgr. Gerry Kaiser, who as the Vicar General and Chancellor at the time, and a close |personal friend, and he told me very readily that they had driven down to Vienna at midnight, scooped Mohan up and drove him to Lambert Airport in St. Louis, where they put on a plane for London, England. 

“It seems the sheriff of Maries County had a warrant for Mohan’s arrest, charging him with the sexual molestation of a couple of teenage boys.  Though I’m not a lawyer, this smelled to me of obstruction of justice.” 

Rev. Hugh Behan
Source: The Anchor, 1967
In an e-mail message date 17 November 2004, this well-placed source offered additional details about McAuliffe’s management agenda and the embedded clerical culture that continues to protect pedophile priests even today. 

And a coda:  Another source, a prominent diocesan priest, has informed us that
Bishop Michael F.  McAuliffe gave Mohan $15,000 in cash as he left the country.  According to the 2003-2004 Official Directory of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mohan died 17 March 1990, St. Patrick’s Day.

Cold Case File:  The Rev. Sean J. Smyth
The Rev. Sean J.  Smyth (deceased 17 August 1990) molested a 5-year-old girl circa 1959 while assigned to Immaculate Conception Church, Jefferson City.  The victim reported the abuse to the Rev. Hugh F. Behan, who was removed from the priesthood in 1999 due to allegations of raping a 12-year-old girl.  Smyth was pastor of St. Joseph’s Parish, Pilot Grove, 1963–1964; St. Martin, Chouteau Springs; and St. John’s, Clear Creek; St. Mary’s Health Care Center, Jefferson City, 1990. 

The Rev. John J. Whiteley:  St. Pius X Pedophile
Rev. John Whiteley
The Anchor, 1965
After O’Connell, the Rev. John J. Whiteley committed the most egregious crimes against children in the Diocese of Jefferson City.  He is known to have molested at least six young boys at St. Pius X in Moberly and at St. Patrick Church in Rolla. 

Whiteley was a St. Thomas faculty member
(1964-1965).  He also worked as a deacon
at St. Pius X
(1965–1966), and associate pastor (1967–1970).  He was ordained in the chapel of St. Thomas Aquinas High School Seminary in Hannibal. 
In addition, Whiteley was associate director, the Newman Center at Truman State University (1971–1976) and associate pastor, Mary Immaculate Church (1971–1978) in Kirksville.  He also was pastor, St. Rose of Lima, Novinger (1975–1976);St. Joseph Church, Rhineland (1977–1979); and Risen Savior Church, Rhineland (1980). 

Whiteley was placed on sick leave in 1981.  He then returned to the diocese as associate pastor, St. Patrick Church, Rolla (1982–1983).  His last assignment for Jefferson City was associate director, the Newman Center, University of Missouri-Columbia (1984–1988). 

Harry:  Whiteley Victim 6 New
As the years pass by, the extent of Whiteley’s victimization crimes continues to unravel, a process that you fear deeply. 

In February 2006, for example, the newest Whiteley victim came forward and we identify here as Harry.  Whiteley molested Harry, his sixth victim, during his tenure at St. Patrick’s Church, Rolla.  Interestingly enough, the Rev. David Cox is now pastor there.

Your vindictive response to the crimes committed against your own seminarians has been easily transferred to the laity. 

Charles:  Whiteley Victim 5 New

Whiteley Victim 5: “Charles” is a member
of the STAS Class of 1982. He also is an
alumnus of the Pontifical College
Josephinum, Columbus, Ohio.
In 2003, the diocese began
to provide medical care for
Charles, which included a
lengthy hospitalization at
a healthcare facility in
Minnesota.  The initial cost
for treatment:  $75,000.

Charles was molested at
St. Pius X in the early
1970s.  Timelines and
historical referencing
indicate that Charles followed David Clohessy as Whiteley’s next victim.  Clohessy, the executive director of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), was a sixth grade student at St. Pius X when
Whiteley began to molest him (1969-1973). 

Charles, who is about 10 years younger than I am, contacted me in 2003 because he remembered me as a seminarian serving Mass and reading the Scriptures on Sundays during the span of years that included Msgr. John C. Mahoney to Fr. George Kramer as pastors at St. Pius X.  Isn’t strange how we touch others’ lives without knowing it? 

In addition, Charles is a STAS graduate (Class of 1982) and he graduated from the Pontifical College Josephinum (PCJ) in Columbus, Ohio.  I found it intriguing that despite the age difference, his experience at PCJ mirrors my own.  For example, the dean of men during his college career was a theologian during my time there:  Dennis Ricker.  Ordained in 1975 for the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, Denny Ricker was dean of men during Charles’ collegiate career.  Ricker died at the Josephinum from complications of HIV/AIDS in 1990. 

St. Pius X:  Moberly Church in Ruins

Rev. John Whiteley
St. Pius X in Moberly represents Whiteley’s most extensive crime scene.  Although the Missouri Supreme Court dismissed his case in 1992 due to the state’s stringent statute of limitations, David Clohessy, who is the national director of SNAP, has exposed this horror. 

Whiteley molested David for nearly five
years (1969-1973) from about age 12. 

He also his little brother, Kevin, who is
a STAS graduate (1977); was ordained;
and implicated in two molestation
cases himself.

As you know, Whiteley is a serial child predator and you continue to shield this miscreant priest from justice despite the number of claims. 

David and Kevin Clohessy are Whiteley’s third and fourth victims. 

Whiteley’s Earliest Victims:  Mark and Wesley New
Mark was sixth grader at St. Pius like David Clohessy when Whiteley molested him a few years later.  Mark is about four years older than David.  His family was new to the parish at the time and Whiteley befriended him.  Mark also is STAS graduate (Class of 1973) and like Charles, he graduated from the Josephinum in Columbus, Ohio. 

Wesley unknowingly escaped Whiteley advance when he was a seventh grade student at St. Pius X.  Wesley is four years older than Mark; six years old than David; and 10 years older than Charles and Kevin. 

John J. Whiteley was ordained a priest in
the chapel of St. Thomas Seminary in 1967.
The event was recorded by Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell in the 1967 the school’s yearbook,
The Anchor.

After Mass one day, Whiteley asked Wesley to go to the basement with him to check the boiler.  As they entered the boiler room, he told Wesley not to turn on the lights because he was only going to lift him up touch the heating duct to see if it was warm.   

Whiteley led Wesley to the far side of the room.  Positioned between the boiler and the enclosed toilet stall, Whiteley lifted Wesley up:  they were face-to-face in the dark. 

At that point the lights came on.  It was the custodian. 

The custodian, surprised by their presence, asked roughly:  “What the hell is going on here.” 

Wesley, still in Whiteley’s arms, replied:  “We’re checking the boiler.” 

As Whiteley lowered Wesley to the floor, the custodian said to the boy:  “Get your coat on.  You’re coming with me.” 

Whiteley was left alone in the boiler room of St. Pius X. 

Whiteley now lives in St. Louis, Mo. 

Misplaced Trust:  Rev. Gary Wayne Pool
Bishop James Alan Wilkowski of the Evangelical Catholic Church announced in 2008 that he was victimized by a Jefferson City priest in the 1980’s. Bishop Wilkowski has not identified the offending priest, but you are aware that he is the Rev. Gary Wayne Pool (The Anchor 1972), who was the subject of a 2004 civil suit.

Pool is a STAS graduate (Class of 1974).  O’Connell appointed him to the STAS adjunct faculty (1981-1984), teaching Gregorian Chant and working as a spiritual advisor.  He also tutored students in the guitar.  A former Anchor yearbook editor and other STAS alumni can tell you that Pool was not afraid to grope, fondle, or kiss students when he could.  In Pool’s defense, he most likely is an O’Connell victim.

Images of the Rev. Gary Wayne Pool as a student at St. Thomas
Aquinas Seminary, captured on film by Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell for the high school yearbook, in addition to Pool’s
ordination portrait.   Source:  The Anchor.

Pool’s behavior at St. Thomas led to his transfer to Hannibal Catholic in 1984.  He relationships with youngsters at the parish forced another transfer:  this time St. Joseph Cathedral in Jefferson City, which resulted in a sexual assault of a boy who was victimized by the Rev. Kevin Clohessy. 

Bishop Wilkowski is only the second bishop to disclose his sexual abuse story, suffered at the hands of a priest. Bishop Thomas Gumbleton of the Archdiocese of Detroit disclosed his personal history in 2006 and was punished by the Vatican. 

O’Connell recruited Wilkowski to the Jefferson City diocese.  As a student at Kenrick Seminary he reported Pool’s uninvited sexual overtures, sexual blackmail, and frequent repeated attempts at sexual assaults to O’Connell and McAuliffe.  Two weeks before his ordination as a deacon, the Rev. Brian Driscoll, the diocesan vocation director, informed Wilkowski that he no longer had McAuliffe’s support. 

According to Wilkowski: 

“On October 31, 1988, I was summoned to
Bishop McAuliffe’s office of and notified
that my allegations against Pool had caused
‘consternation within the internal forum
of the diocese’ and my ordination
was cancelled.

“I was to vacate the rectory at St. Brendan’s
in Mexico within 24 hours.  I was handed a
check $250 for expenses, which left on
McAuliffe’s desk and walked out.”

For more information, visit Bishop Wilkowski’s BLOG. 


Further Reading
Pedophile Expert Warned Bishops of abusive priests in mid-50’s
Bishop Brady Letter Advises American Church of Pending Pedophile PriestCrisis
InvestigativeReport:  Richard Sipe and the Rev. ThomasP. Doyle Unravel Mystery of the Servants of the Paraclete
Profile:  1950-2002 Documentation Details History ofSexual Abuse in Diocese of Burlington, Vt.
Brochure Highlights 1950’s Pedophile Priest Treatment Facility
Hugh Behan, Priest Suspended in Sex Scandal, Went to Work for Disney
Anthony J. O’Connell, Hugh Behan: Cancer That Spread to the West
Bishop Finn: Recanted Deposition Quote Raises Questions in Clergy Abuse Case
Diocesan staffer: Finn Said, “Boys will be boys,” in Reaction to Priest’s Lewd Photos


Next Time: Predatory Priests Fill Jefferson City Posts


  1. Michael,

    Are you aware that Msgr. Cox will be the new pastor in July at Immacluate Conception in Jefferson City?


  2. Fr. James J. Mohan's misdeeds go back considerably further than reported here. He began molesting me as I entered the ninth grade of Mercy High school in Marshall in the fall of 1959. Fr. Mohan continued to abuse me and went on to abuse my younger brother over the next 2 0r 3 years. My brother and I put a stop to it when we accosted him at the Drive-In movie in Marshall around 1962 as he was attempting to molest yet another one of our brothers.

  3. Huh just shows you not many people look or comment on this F**king bull shit............Guess they dont read lies

    1. These liars ought not get away with these "false" accusations should they? The bishop would love to hear of any evidence you have regarding Fr. Mohan's "sterling" character. You seem to have a soft spot for pedophiles...Fr. Mohan would have appreciated your support. WTF!!

  4. Monsignor David D Cox has now been moved to Mary Immaculate Parish in Kirksville Mo., the Diocese of Jefferson City is so proud of him and his accomplishments! Why is it that a small parish with a small school of 100 students that was built up by a wonderful and loving Priest and was clearly working very well with full pews and giving. Why would they NEED a broke down lying, deceiving, master of covering up for pedophile priest, deserve a Monsignor.

    Seems strange that he would be taken out of a very large parish with large school, unless someone found out about his past and the move was necessary to hide him again. Personally I feel that they had to hide him again in a small parish with no reporters willing to investigate and report on his past nor the reason he left the Columbia Mo parish.

    Please help us get information out to parents and the whole parish.

    Thank you for caring enough to represent the truth you have reported.

  5. You are so right regarding the move of monsignor Cox. We HAD the most wonderful,caring priest we have had in a long long time (my opinion only) in Father Chris Cordes. He was transferred to (where else?) Columbia MO.I guess they needed him to clean up Cox'so mess. (We will never know).So Michael, keep digging and maybe our church will oust Cox,and get us another Fr. Chris.