Thy Child's Face is a testimonial to the sexual violence inflicted on children by predatory Roman Catholic priests. In the last 25 years, clergy sexual abuse of children has been revealed for what it is: an organized syndicate of criminal accomplices who work in concert to shield pedophile priests. This particular tale is about the Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., Bishop John R. Gaydos, and those who have worked in concert to cover up those crimes against children in the Middle West.
Anthony J. O’Connell
10 May 1938-4 May 2012
8 March 2002: Anthony J. O’Connell leaves the podium after
admitting at a press conference that he molested students at
St. Thomas Aquinas Preparatory Seminary, Hannibal, Mo., during
his 26-year tenure as rector (1969-1989), dean of students
(1966-1969), faculty member (1963-1989). O’Connell was an
apt recruiter, enrolling students from dioceses in Missouri, Illinois
and Kansas as assistant vocation director (1965-1970) and director
of vocations (1970-1988) for the Diocese of Jefferson City.
O’Connell also held one of the two leadership positions on the
so-called Priest Personnel Board (1972-1988) for the Diocese,
which gave him access to all clergy employment files. In addition,
O’Connell was a talented rainmaker with an uncanny ability to
generate funding for the seminary and diocese alike. He was
named bishop of Knoxville, Tenn. (1988-1998) and then Palm
Beach, Fla. (1998-2002), with the support of three close friends:
Bernard Francis Cardinal Law, Bishop Michael F. McAuliffe and
Bishop John R. Gaydos. Nonetheless, O’Connell died in obscurity.
O’Connell passed away unremarked: no obituary, no memorial,
no fanfare. He was buried in secrecy without ceremony. O’Connell
never apologized to those he harmed. He expressed no regret for
his actions. But O’Connell did manage to live in luxury at the
former winter home of Henry and Clare Boothe Luce, north of
Charleston, S.C. The pre-Revolutionary War plantation is now
known as Mepkin Abbey, a Cistercian monastery. The 3,200-acre
property in Monck’s Corner attracts thousands of visitors annually
to marvel at its historic gardens and tour the monks’ mushroom
growing enterprise. Requiescat in Pace.