Archdiocese: Sex abuse report on deceased priest deemed credible

The Archdiocese of St. Louis has deemed credible a report alleging sexual abuse of a minor by the late Father Alexander Lippert in the early 1970s. The Archdiocesan Review Board made the determination, and Archbishop Robert J. Carlson accepted the board's recommendation citing credible evidence.

Father Lippert died in April 2000, before the allegations were made. Therefore, he can't defend himself, so officially the allegation is considered "credible though unsubstantiated." However, there is enough evidence to conclude the abuse could have occurred as reported, according to the archdiocese.

In 33 years as a priest, Father Lippert served or resided at 11 parishes. He was assigned to Holy Guardian Angels in south St. Louis in April 1956; Immaculate Conception in Union in July of 1959; St. Liborius in north St. Louis in 1961; St. Teresa in north St. Louis in 1963;St. Ferdinand in Florissant in 1965; St. Aloysius in Spanish Lake in May of 1968; St. Paul the Apostle in Pine Lawn (resided, during leave of absence) in July of 1970; Basilica of St. Louis, King of France (Old Cathedral) in Downtown St. Louis in June of 1980; St. Catherine of Alexandria in Coffman in November of 1980; St. Ambrose in south St. Louis in May of 1983; and St. Thomas of Aquin in south St. Louis in April of 1986.

Father Lippert took a sick leave in July 1988, then the archdiocese relieved him of priestly duties and granted retirement in January of 1991.

The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People mandates outreach to potential victims and transparency in communicating with the public about the sexual abuse of a minor. Father Michael P. Boehm, archdiocesan vicar for priests, has sent an announcement for the bulletins of the parishes where Father Lippert served or resided.

Anyone who wishes to report the sexual abuse of a minor by Father Lippert or by any other priest, deacon or employee of the Archdiocese of St. Louis is asked to contact Deacon Phil Hengen, the archdiocesan director of child and youth protection, at (314) 792-7704 or phengen@archstl.org. Reports also can be made to the Missouri Division of Social Services Child Abuse Hotline at (800) 392-3738 for allegations involving a person who is currently under the age of 18, or to civil authorities.

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