Archdiocese of St. Louis

Pope Francis waves to crowds gathered in Philadelphia, which include a group of De Smet Jesuit High School students and faculty.
Courtesy of Kenneth Luecke, De Smet Jesuit High School

As St. Louisans who traveled to see Pope Francis during his U.S. visit in Philadelphia last weekend return home, some said they were "awestruck" by an experience they described as "thrilling."

But not everyone was pleased with the pontiff's words, particularly around the issue of clergy sex abuse. 

File photo of Pope Francis
Flickr | Christus Vincit

Dozens of St. Louis Catholics are headed to Philadelphia this week to see Pope Francis, who arrived in the U.S. Tuesday, and they bring with them a wide variety of expectations.

Cathedral Basicila of St. Louis votive candles
Rachel Heidenry | 2008

Cases against two former St. Louis Catholic archbishops are being submitted to Pope Francis’ new Vatican tribunal that investigates bishops accused of covering up abuse.

(via Flickr/kat93117)

Updated at 4:00 p.m. Wednesday with comments from the Archdiocese of St. Louis

St. Louis prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against a priest in the St. Louis Archdiocese accused of abusing a student at St. Louis the King  School.

Archbishop Robert Carlson says all Catholics must be engaged in eliminating racism, a topic covered at the recent spring meeting of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Courtesy Archdiocese of St. Louis Facebook page

At their annual spring meeting held in St. Louis last week, U.S Catholic bishops discussed several issues currently facing the Catholic Church, including: the clergy sex abuse scandal, what the Church sees as challenges to marriage, and the pope's upcoming encyclical on the environment.

Archbishop Robert Carlson ceremonially breaks ground on the new St. Margaret of Scotland school building on Sunday, March 1, 2015.
Camille Phillips | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Margaret of Scotland School didn’t set out to build the first new Catholic parish school building in St. Louis in 50 years. It just ran out of classrooms.

“We’re so crowded right now I always say don’t try and stretch because there’s not room,” St. Margaret Principal Juliann DePalma Hesed said. “Every corner of our building is used. Our cafeteria is our cafeteria but it is used eight different times (a week) for classes that don’t have a classroom.”  

According to Hesed, the school began seeing growth in the early 2000s after decades of serving 230 - 260 students.

As local schools celebrate Catholic Schools Week, the new superintendent of Catholic Education for the Archdiocese of St. Louis said the schools are successful because everyone works together.

Students at Saint Raphael the Archangel School prepare to leave Wednesday for the March for Life in Washington, D.C.
Courtesy Saint Raphael, via Twitter

The St. Louis Archdiocese is sending a record number of young people to Thursday's annual March for Life in Washington, D.C., since it first began its coordinated "Generation Life" pilgrimage to the event three years ago.

St. Louis lawyer Marie Kenyon discusses her new role leading the Archdiocese of St. Louis' Peace and Justice Commission with 'St. Louis on the Air' host Don Marsh on Jan. 12, 2015, at St. Louis Public Radio in St. Louis.
Alex Heuer / St. Louis Public Radio

Last week, St. Louis attorney Marie Kenyon was named the director of the Archdiocese of St. Louis’ new Peace and Justice Commission.

The issues Kenyon expects to take on with that commission, including poverty, race and education, are the same issues she has dealt with as a lawyer.

(St. Louis Public Radio file photo)

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has named a director for its re-established Peace and Justice Commission, also known as the human rights commission. Marie Kenyon will lead the group, which will address rights issues throughout the 11 counties that make up the Archdiocese of St. Louis. As director, Kenyon will build a commission that will address racial tensions, poverty and education access.

(via Flickr/Patty Vicknair)

Updated with comments from the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, additional information about pending civil cases.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis settled a civil case Monday in which a young woman accused a former priest of raping her – and the archdiocese of putting her and other children at risk by moving the priest from parish to parish. 

Jury selection was scheduled to get underway Monday morning in the case of Jane Doe 92 vs. Ross. The terms of the settlement are confidential. 

(via Flickr/Scuddr)

UPDATE: July 7, 9:30 a.m.

The St. Louis Archdiocese announced this morning that it had settled a civil lawsuit in the case of Doe Vs. Ross.

The case was set to go to court this morning starting with jury selection. But the Archdiocese called a press conference to announce the settlement. The terms of the settlement are confidential. 

For more on the background of what was at stake in Doe vs. Ross, read below:

via Wikimedia Commons

How did a French king born in 1214 become the namesake of a city founded in the heart of the Americas 550 years later? The answer is woven into the fabric of St. Louis’ identity even now, as we celebrate the 250th anniversary of the city’s founding.

Friday marks the 800th anniversary of the birth of the city’s namesake: Louis IX, the only French king to become a saint.

Maureen McCollum / Wisconsin Public Radio

Catholic education has deep roots in St. Louis, but some schools have struggled amid shrinking enrollment. 

The Archdiocese of St. Louis announced last month that it had selected Kurt Nelson as the new Superintendent of Catholic Education.  Since 2006, Nelson has served the president of Aquinas Catholic Schools in La Crosse, Wis.  He will take over as the head of Catholic schools in St. Louis on July, 1. He replaces George Henry, who held the job since 1995.

Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio

The origin of eating fish on Fridays goes back a long way in the Catholic Church, but the origin of the tradition is disputed. Some say it’s a form of personal sacrifice meant to remember the death of Jesus. Others say it was the result of an 8th century papal decree to help the Italian fishermen.

(via Flickr/Matthew Black)

Latest development, Feb 5, 2014:

Missouri's Supreme Court has ordered the Archdiocese of St. Louis to give the names of priests and other church employees credibly accused of sexually abusing minors to a plaintiff in a lawsuit.

Shortly after the court's two-line order yesterday, the Archdiocese turned over the list of 240 complaints made against 115 priests and employees since 1986. A court order keeps the names of the accused and the victims sealed to the public.

(St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated Jan. 13, 2014:

The legal back-and-forth over the release of the names to the plaintiff continues. The state Supreme Court today blocked the Archdiocese from having to comply with Dierker’s order until further notice.

Updated Jan. 10, 2014:

Archbishop Robert Carlson
Bill Raack | St. Louis Public Radio file photo

Updated 5:10 p.m.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis and Catholic Charities of St. Louis are among dozens of Roman Catholic institutions suing the Obama administration over a mandate that most employers provide birth control coverage.

The archdiocese and Catholic Charities filed suit Monday in U.S. District Court in St. Louis. The other suits from around the country were also filed Monday.

(Rachel Lippmann/St. Louis Public Radio)

Updated at 4:55 to correct grammatical error.

Three Catholic schools in south St. Louis county will be merging into one next school year.

(via Flickr/Matthew Black)

In a ruling that advocates for victims of abusive priests are calling "terrible," a Missouri appeals court today upheld a 2010 trial court ruling that the Archdiocese of St. Louis cannot be held responsible for a priest who sexually abused a young parishioner because the abuse happened off of church property.

An attorney for the victim, Ken Chackes, says Missouri is one of a few states that requires such a high bar to hold church officials responsible.