The story told by Rev. Andre Samson suggests the Vatican’s promises of a new, more open approach to dealing with sexual crimes has not necessarily translated through the church rank-and-file.
Samson says his troubles at St. Joseph’s Oratory began in June, when a distraught young man confided in him about being sexually assaulted by a priest from another parish.
Samson says he now wants to go public about what happened next, to break the “code of silence” that endures in an era when Pope Francis is taking concrete steps to increase transparency about sexual violence and crack down on guilty priests.
“I had confidence in the church, I had confidence in St. Joseph’s Oratory,” Samson, a veteran priest of 30 years and a university professor, said in an interview.
“Perhaps I am naive, but I never would have believed that it would go this far.
“This is why I decided to speak out about it.”