Phil Hengen of the child protection board of the Saint Louis Archdiocese discusses processes of handling sexual abuse cases…
Voices of the faithful Saint Louis (VOTFSL), Survivors Network of those Sexually Abused by Priests (SNAP), and victims of the sexual abuse scandals met at Schlafly Bottle works on Southwest Avenue at 7:30 pm on Tuesday May 25th, 2010. Phil Hengen explained the processes that take place at the Saint Louis Archdiocese as the Office of Child Protection handle the cases. Phil Hengen spoke of being satisfied as to how the cases are handled and quoted statistics of abuses based on their reports. Phil was asked questions ranging from “Who appoints the Board?” to “Why were things handled the way they were?”
Coming from the perspective of a victim (Mark Troutt)… “I must say, some answers were honest and heartfelt of protecting children and steps have been made of huge proportions to help victims as well as protect children since the cover ups since the 80’s up to present about past sexual abuse, rape, and the stealing of innocence and lives. I also must say that some responses were down right dishonest and beating around the bush to cover up the abuse cases on going, along with how the hierarchy of the Roman Catholic church in general handles these disturbing facts.” I will also say, “Phil Hengen has a difficult job having to do what the hierarchy tells him to do and say and what not to say and we pray for him to be our voice and do the right thing no matter how hard the right thing to do is.” The whole meeting was like trying to be allowed in a process by the questioners and Phil Hengen representing the Archdiocese of Saint Louis is the guard at the door not allowing us in, and only giving certain information already known and/or information that is ambiguous and also information that is reassuring with truth in helping victims and protecting children.
We made head way that Phil Hengen will take two things to the hierarchy to initiate and they are: “Allowing at least one victim of sexual abuse to be on the board of child protection hearing the cases in all aspects.” and number two is: “Victims of sexual abuse will be invited at masses at all parishes to speak during mass of the effects of sexual abuse and their story, so parishioners better understand the loss and devastation one experiences when sexually abused by bishops, cardinals, priests, lay people, teachers, and parishioners that make up according to the statistics of the archdiocese being 3% of the Catholic hierarchy and community. But SNAP thinks and I tend to agree the pedophiles are higher than 3%.”
So, we wait for our voice to be heard and these steps to be implemented as Phil Hengen thinks this is a great idea.
Mark Troutt… victim of rape and sexual abuse in the hierarchy of the Saint Louis Archdiocese