The Diocese of Jefferson City

A Case Study of Clergy Sexual Abuse

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Childproof 32: Missouri Bishop Shuts Down Website in Response to Thy Child's Face Clergy Sexual Abuse Report






Page 32



Dear Bishop Gaydos:

John R. Gaydos
Bishop
Jefferson City, Mo.
We understand that you shut down the
St. Thomas Alumni website as a result
of the data and research that appears
in Thy Child’s Face, a report that we
delivered to your office on Monday,
May 7. 

It would appear that your response to the
content of our critique justifies the analysis
contained herein.  We have always believed
that the problem with the pedophile priest
crisis is the fact that few photographs of the
perpetrators and their activity ever comes to the fore.

Thy Child’s Face provides that glimpse inside this particular
brand of sexual predator culture with images of young boys
captured on film by a master of the game:  Anthony J. O’Connell. 


Thy Child’s Face, reconfirms our opinion:  Alice’s mad Red Queen,
an imperious sycophant, jetting off to exotic European capitals like Bucharest armed with make-believe work to impress those paying for the privilege.  But the reality-based horror of this vision is the fact that you are a perfect match for the Joe Paterno management model, protecting a flock of Jerry Sandusky’s and threatening victims with legal action who date to expose your pitiful sleight of hand.


The printed version of Thy Child’s Face is a 200-page review of
the sexual abuse scandal in the Diocese of Jefferson City.  We think
it is damning analysis of your management of the child molestation scandal in Mid-Missouri: a base and callous continuation of the
cover-up of crimes against children that you willingly adapted from
your predecessor, Michael F. McAuliffe, to protect your regime.  


In essence you have buried the past beneath a mer de glace of deception, hoping no one will ever bother to drill through this glacial cover up to bring justice to those that you continue to harm to this day.  But no matter how thick the glacier of lies, we know that Thy Child’s Face offers evidence that the St. Thomas yearbooks, The Anchor: 1) tells the tale of O’Connell unnatural interest in young boys (see Collage Exhibit, Part 1); 2) documents O’Connell’s prurient tastes (see Collage Exhibit, Part II); and 3) serves as an archive of clergy sexual abuse highlighting the close contact that pedophile priests working for the Diocese of Jefferson City had with the unwitting students (see Childproof 3 exhibit). 

The suppressed website – St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary Alumni Association Archiveswas a digital archive for The Anchor and functioned as a networking resource for students victimized by Bishop O’Connell, the Rev. Manus P. Daly, the Rev. David G. Buescher, and other predatory faculty members who worked
at the now-defunct Hannibal boarding school.  We speculate
that Thy Child’s Face reproduced incriminating St. Thomas
yearbook photographs and the alumni website was transformed
into a mirror to the soul of the clergy abuse scandal.  We believe Bishop Gaydos that you would rather break that mirror rather than gaze upon that reflection of the truth.

Rev. Dylan Schrader
Associate Pastor
Immaculate Conception
Jefferson City, Mo.
The round table discussion after the May 7
data release that evening is an interesting
follow up.   A St. Thomas graduate
announced the death of Bishop Anthony J.
O’Connell, a surprising coincidence for
those attending the meeting the Inman E.
Page Library on the campus of Lincoln
University.


Subsequently, we have learned that
O’Connell died May 4 at Mepkin Abbey,
Moncks Corner, S.C., and was buried
in the abbey’s cemetery.


You have made no formal announcement of O’Connell’s death. 
St. Thomas students have received no formal confirmation of O’Connell’s passing:  a man who is acknowledged as the cornerstone of an academic institution that spanned the history of the diocese until it closed in 2002 as a result of O’Connell’s resignation as bishop of Palm Beach, Fla., and public admission that he molested student throughout his 26-year career (1963-1989) as rector and teacher
at the Hannibal high school.


The Rev. Dylan Schrader celebrated his first Mass 23 May 2010
at Holy Family Church, Hannibal, Mo., with the Rev. Mr. Evan
Harkins (left) and the Rev. Nicklaus Winker. Schrader is a
member of the STAS Class of 2002, the last cohort of students
to graduate from St. Thomas Aquinas Seminary; and the last
STAS graduate to be ordained.

A New Generation Learns the Art of Deceit
We are aware that the architect and editor of the quashed website
is the Rev. Dylan Schrader
.  Schrader, a baby-faced cleric with
bee-stung lips, is an associate pastor at Immaculate Conception Church, Jefferson City. 

Msgr. David D. Cox, the pastor of Immaculate Conception, is Schrader’s former teacher.  Cox taught at St. Thomas for nearly
two decades.

Dylan Schrader is a member of the St. Thomas Class of 2002,
the last cohort of students to graduate from the Hannibal seminary.

He also is the last St. Thomas graduate to be ordained for
the priesthood. 


The Rev. Michael Quinn, pastor of Holy Family
Church, Hannibal, helped the Rev. Dylan Schrader
with his vestments during his ordination service
22 May 2010 at St. Joseph Cathedral, Jefferson
City, Mo.  Quinn is among the first St. Thomas
graduates to be ordained in 1970.

It is fitting that the Rev. Michael Quinn, among the first STAS graduates to be ordained should participate in his priestly rite of passage.  Perhaps Quinn and Schrader will join forces someday to expose the secrets that the diocese has kept hidden for so long
and honor the memory of their late colleague:  the Rev. Joseph W. Starmann (see images below).


Rev. Dylan Schrader has a marked interest in liturgy and rubrics,
the overriding mission of the modern church.

We understand that you delegated Schrader to create and manage the St. Thomas website, because he is a savvy communicator and
an aggressive self-promoter, Wegs added.  For example, he said, Schrader hosts a number of other websites such as Ipissima Verba and submits his homilies for publication in the Homiletic and Pastoral Review.  But it appears he is trying to re-invent a wheel long ago established by John Baptist MΓΌller, S.J., in his Handbook of Ceremonies for Priests and Seminarians (1907) or Nikolaus Gihrs The Holy Sacrifice of the Mass; Dogmatically, Liturgically, and Ascetically Explained (1902).


The note Schrader posted at the St. Thomas website reads:
I’m sorry, but certain websites have been copying images from
this website without permission. Until further notice, I am taking
the site down.

The rationale for shutting down the website, Wegs said, appears to be a concern about imaging rights related to the digitized yearbooks and newsletters that also are available to students in their traditional form.  The diocese has offered no other reason for removing the information from the internet.

We don't understand Schrader’s reference.  We have access to most of the St. Thomas yearbooks, and we have reproduced a series of yearbook photographs at Thy Child’s Face. 

Dylan Schrader
Kenrick Seminary
2008
O’Connell, who was the yearbook advisor
and sole photographer for each edition,
presented complete collections to some
of his victims: each edition with the student’s
name embossed in gold.  Some of his victims
also were yearbook editors, students who
spent summers at St. Thomas to complete
the publication of their particular editions:
our research indicates that O’Connell
molested at least three yearbook editors.

Your shut-down of the St. Thomas alumni website is not as
critical as is your failure to contact former students and announce O’Connell’s demise.

Bishop Gaydos, the issue of O’Connell’s death is simple.  The death
of a predator often allows victims – who may still feel intimidated and helpless – to summon the courage to report the crimes, expose the wrongdoing, and begin their recovery.


Knowing that a predator can longer cause further harm, victims often take comfort in the knowledge that their perpetrators can no longer hurt them or other children.

You made a pledge as an original member of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Committee for the Protection of Children and Young People to maintain an open and honest relationship with Church members and the public about the
status of pedophile priests.

It’s too bad that you continue to renege on your promise protect those you serve.

Bishop John R. Gaydos has removed all content and messages from
the St. Thomas Alumni Association website.  The original notice
posted by the developer and webmaster, the Rev. Dylan Schrader,
read as follows:
I’m sorry, but certain websites have been copying
images from this website without permission. Until further notice,
I am taking the site down.”









Monday, June 4, 2012

Childproof 31: Death Comes for Anthony J. O’Connell




Page 31




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.