Missouri Reporter Delves into Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer

When I first reported Father Gibson to the Diocese of Scranton, I was told that he had been removed from ministry and sent to a facility for safekeeping.  While the Diocese should have handed this prolific sexual criminal to civil authorities, they instead sent him into the Catholic Church’s “Pedophile Protection Center” a.k.a. The Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer Missouri. The facility is run by the Servants of the Paraclete, a Catholic order of priests who specialize in “caring” for troubled priests. While the Jesuit order has been called “God’s Stormtroopers”, it seems that the Servants are “God’s Corrections Officers” or Cruise Directors. I guess it all depends on your point of view.

A reporter for KDSK – 5 in Missouri, Leisa Zigman, has completed a two-part series with a follow-up on the Center.  Long believed to be a haven for hidden priests removed from their parent Diocese, the center is more of a retirement home than a serious rehab center for the most dangerous priests. Review the videos and see for yourself!

Links to the series, with related video reports, are provided for your review:

Club Ped: Missouri’s retreat for pedophile priestsVideo Link

Club Ped — Missouri retreat for pedophile priests (Part 2)Video Link

Vianney Renewal Center responds to I-Team InvestigationVideo Link

For those of you who continue to tithe to the Catholic Church, this is one of the places that the church hides pedophiles who should be in prison.  You are paying for this!

10 thoughts on “Missouri Reporter Delves into Vianney Renewal Center in Dittmer”

  1. The videos were interesting, Michael. In truth, I think it is good that they have places like this. As long as it keeps these guys away from children it is good. These are mentally disturbed men and I think it is better that they live in a place like this than out on their own. At the present time the Church is defrocking a lot of the molesters, but it is important that those guys get help and are monitored so they don’t abuse after they are out of the priesthood. More and more are ending up in prison also but again after they get out they need to be monitored.

  2. Hmm. Both SNAP and Vianney started 22 years ago in St. Louis and I’ll bet DC’s brother Kevin is there in the recovery center as well. Also did you notice DC delivered a beautiful sound byte in the 2nd video making the Church look good, in fact he repeats the Church’s defense for the cameras. And worst thing he could say about the bishop letting Paracletes continue in St. Louis was, “That’s his choice, and it’s … reckless.” When will people wake up and see the connections here?

  3. Michael-

    Thank you for having this here. I am a survivor of Fr. James Talbot S.J. from Boston. Fr. Talbot was imprisoned for rape and sexual assault, and is due to be released on 3/18/11 (tomorrow). He is to be on probation for 3 years, and, I believe, is to register as a sex offender.

    Because of local outcry, the Jesuits (who’ve had 12-15 years to defrock him) are trying to work out a deal whereby he will be sent to the Vianney Ctr.

    It just amazes me to see these videos. What a wonderful life he’ll have.

  4. I guess I don’t understand the problem. Would you rather have these men secluded and away from society, or living in a populated area?

  5. I actually have a dear relative that lives there. He is not a pedophile. Just aging and needs assisted living and so this is the place they have sent him to live. I have plans to visit in the very near future to check on his well being. It seems that they put the good in with the bad. As a Christian (I’m not Catholic) I find this to be a sad situation, that this is the best the Catholic church can do. I feel there should be a separate facility for the criminals. The truly good men do not deserve to mixed in..

  6. @ Michael Baumann: Your pain jumps off these pages, and I feel sorry for the tragedies you claim to have endured at the hand of a trusted priest. I am also sorry that your purported, childhood abuse has consumed you for so many decades. I hope you find peace. I understand that Robert Gibson died in 2012 but query whether you ever reached to him before his death – confronting him, as an adult, on his behavior towards you as a child.

    As to the Vianney Renewal Center, I am glad it exists. But for this place, those priests who have been released from prison after “paying their debt to society” and those beyond prosecution due to Statute of Limitation issues would be free to walk among society, where the might very well cause harm to others.

  7. @ Jim Higgins: I am less concerned with defrocking Jim Talbot than I am in keeping him away from society. Having been released from jail a few years ago and nearing completion of parole, Talbot will soon be free to travel freely among society. I’d rather he stay at Vianney. Why cares if he gets to remain a priest? It is in name only. The Catholic church will never allow him to minister to anyone. I also doubt that he is living a “wonderful life” at Vianney. I suspect it is a life filled with shame, guilt, and self-loathing — at least, I hope so.

    BTW: I attended B.C. High in the mid-1970’s and had Jim Talbott as a teacher (history). I also played soccer for him. I sing no praises for the man, but don’t want to see him burned at the torch either. It is not the Christian thing to want,

  8. So there is a place that pedophiles should go to be away from society. Its called prison. Why does being a priest entitle a child rapist to live at a luxury summer camp? These men are criminals, plain and simple, and they should be punished in the same way that others who commit the same crimes, but do not happen to be priests, are punished. Actually, I feel that their betrayal of trust of their congregations makes the priests’ crimes worse.

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