Conception Abbey priests on list of alleged sexual abusers

Religious leaders of Conception Abbey in Nodaway County have released the names of eight Abbey priests, or brothers, who have credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against them.

Posted: Aug 6, 2019 4:29 PM

(CONCEPTION, Mo.) Religious leaders of Conception Abbey in Nodaway County have released the names of eight Abbey priests, or brothers, who have credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against them.

Abbot Benedict Neenan posted a statement to Conception Abbey's website. He explained the names were released after the Abbey hired retired FBI agents to review the personnel files of all Abbey priests and brothers in the past 70 years. The Abbey used certain criteria to determine the list:

  • The allegation involved sexual abuse of a minor;
  • The priest or brother at issue was a member of Conception Abbey; and
  • The allegation was deemed credible, which means that after all of the available information was reviewed (and in many instances, the only information was decades old), the allegation was considered more likely than not true.

In 2011, the Abbey implemented a Policy for Protection of Children and Vulnerable Adults and a Code of Ethics and is accredited by Praesidium, an organization which sets standards for institutions to ensure a safe environment for children and vulnerable adults. The independent Abbey Review Board also reviews any allegations of sexual misconduct.

The statement also includes an apology on behalf of the Abbey's monks to all the victims and their families. In it, Neenan calls the sexual abuse "evil."

"It is my prayer and hope that publishing this list will aid in the healing of victims and will serve as a lasting reminder of our responsibility to do everything in our power to protect all minors and vulnerable adults from abuse," he said in a statement posted on the website.

The fathers and brothers who have credible allegations of sexual abuse according to the Abbey are:

  • Fr. Vincent Barsch
    • Born: 1919
    • Ordained: 1945
    • Left religious life: 1973
    • State and Timeline: South Dakota, ca. 1955-62
    • Status: Deceased in 2010
  • Fr. Bede Parry
    • Born: 1942
    • Ordained: 1983
    • Dismissed from religious life: 2002
    • State and Timeline: Missouri, ca. 1982-87
    • Status: Deceased in 2013
  • Fr. Edgar Probstfield
    • Born: 1927
    • Ordained: 1952
    • State and Timeline: Missouri, 1976-77
    • Status: Deceased in 2007
  • Fr. Regis Probstfield
    • Born: 1931
    • Ordained: 1957
    • State and Timeline: Missouri, 1976
    • Status: Deceased in 2008
  • Fr. Gilbert Stack
    • Born: 1913
    • Ordained: 1939
    • State and Timeline: South Dakota, ca. 1949-53
    • Status: Deceased in 2007
  • Fr. Hugh Tasch
    • Born: 1930
    • Ordained: 1957
    • State and Timeline: Missouri, 2003
    • Status: Deceased in 2017
  • Fr. Paschal Thomas
    • Born: 1934
    • Ordained: 1959
    • State and Timeline: Connecticut, 1993
    • Status: Deceased in 2015
  • Fr. Isaac True
    • Born: 1937
    • Ordained: 1966
    • State and Timeline: Missouri, 1979
    • Status: Removed from Ministry

For the full statement from Conception Abbey, click here.

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