Saint John’s University football coach John Gagliardi has finally spoken on the record about sexual misconduct.
In a Saint Cloud Times article regarding sex abuse at Penn State and Joe Paterno, Gagliardi said, “It’s just hard to believe anything like this can happen — that there are these kinds of people (like Sandusky is alleged to have been) around. But there are. It’s just very sad.”
Gagliardi lives less than a mile from Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, home to over a dozen sex offenders. 250 children and vulnerable adults have been victimized within a mile of Gagliardi’s home.
And his first public comments regarding sexual misconduct were about Penn State?
“It’s just awful,” Gagliardi was quoted in the Saint Cloud Times [ View ], “Just awful. If they’re true, I don’t know if there is enough punishment in the world for a guy like that.”[Update: Gagliardi also commented on the Penn State scandal… Here]
It is worth repeating… Gagliardi lives less than a mile from Saint John’s Abbey in Collegeville, Minnesota, home to over a dozen sex offenders. 250 children and vulnerable adults have been victimized within a mile of Gagliardi’s home. [ View ]
Gagliardi could have, but didn’t speak about the list of the eighteen offending monks that was released by Saint John’s Abbot John Klassen in April [ View ]. Each of the eighteen men on the list roamed the campus during Gagliardi’s tenure.
Gagliardi could have, but didn’t speak about the steps he took the first time he became aware of misconduct by the monks and other personnel on campus. Or the second time. Or the third time.
Gagliardi could have, but has never spoken publicly about the six offenders (Griffith, Kelly, Moorse, Schulte, Tarlton, Taylor) who worked at Saint John’s Preparatory School where just one of his children attended from 1981-1985.
Gagliardi could have, but did not speak about his athletic department’s coverup of misconduct by Saint John’s monk Fr. Bruce Wollmering in 2003. [ View ]
Instead, Gagliardi spoke about sexual misconduct at Penn State University [ View ].
Gagliardi’s compassion for the victims and distain for the offender (Jerry Sandusky) at Penn State is commendable.
It’s a great start.
Now when will Gagliardi offer words of support of those victimized in Collegeville? And when will he publicly chastise those men and women who have and continue to cover up and enable misconduct to flourish in his own backyard?
Many believe that there are two leaders in Collegeville: Abbot John Klassen and Coach John Gagliardi, but not necessarily in that order.
Abbot Klassen has proven to be dishonest, deceptive and insensitive. Klassen is just another compromised monk in a monastic house built on compromise and held together with desperate public relations moves.
John Gagliardi has proven only to be silent… until now. And when Gagliardi finally spoke about misconduct, he spoke about a target 1067 miles away. To some victims of misconduct in Collegeville, his remarks were seen as insensitive and misdirected.
The threat in Collegeville has not passed. Those in leadership must do everything they can to protect children, students and other vulnerable targets.
To date, they have not.
Posted November 9, 2011 @ 9:22am [text available upon request] Revised November 11, 2011 @ 3:04am