Fr. William Vatterott Guilty of Child Porn: "Sin And... A Crime," Says St. Louis Archdiocese

Categories: News

mug via
Fr. William Vatterott.
Father William Vatterott, a St. Louis priest indicted in federal court on a child pornography charge, has pleaded guilty and is now facing a three-year sentence.

"Child pornography is a sin and it is a crime," the Archdiocese of St. Louis says in a statement. "The Archdiocese fully supports the prosecution of crimes against children. Today, we pray for the safety and dignity of all children in our archdiocese and around the world."

Vatterott had been a pastor at the St. Cecilia Parish in St. Louis and previously was an associate pastor at the Holy Infant Parish in Ballwin.

He was sentenced today to 37 months in a federal penitentiary.

Vatterott has been on administrative leave from St. Cecilia since June of 2011, when the Archdiocese learned of the allegations involving "inappropriate electronic communications received by a minor and an incident of underage drinking," church officials say.

via KSDK (Channel 5)
News coverage from when Vatterott was first indicted.

The original complaint reportedly made no mention of child pornography, which the Archdiocese says was discovered during the investigation.

Victims' rights advocates have a different take.

In a statement fired off this morning before the sentencing was announced, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, a St. Louis-based advocacy group, accused the Archdiocese of initially trying to downplay the scandal: "Sadly, in this case, like so many others, Catholic officials deceive the public and the parishioners. When Fr. William Vatterott was suspended, Archbishop Robert Carlson said he was accused of 'inappropriate electronic communication.' In fact, he has been criminally charged with child pornography."

The Archdiocese notes in its statement:

In the Archdiocese of St. Louis, we have established the Safe Environment Program set forth by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Anyone who works with or volunteers with children on a regular basis must complete the Protecting God's Children workshop and pass a state background check.

The Archdiocese of St. Louis encourages all persons with reports of misconduct with a minor involving a member of the clergy or other church personnel to contact Deacon Phil Hengen, Director of Child and Youth Protection at (314) 792-7704 or the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-3738 or law enforcement officials.

According to SNAP, Vatterott is the ninth local priest to face child pornography allegations.

Send feedback and tips to the author. Follow Sam Levin on Twitter at @SamTLevin.

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My Voice Nation Help

I believe in God with every fiber of my being. So don't get it twisted. My life has been so blessed because I don't make life harder than I have to. I respect everyone's ideas and beliefs, and I don't want to hurt anyone just because they see things differently. treating people as individuals and not groups is also important in life.


people may not like what I say but so what. the problem is not the men per say, but the Catholic church itself. just think about all of the cases that weren't reported. organized religion is one of the biggest problems we have in this world. and you can say it's the individuals but just look at all the deaths, and sex crimes, and all the swindling and swindlers, that have come about and all in the name of their so called religion. if we just learn to respect each other and our differences this world would be a better place. people this is hell, so you have to make your heaven.

Brian Cunningham
Brian Cunningham

I believe and was raise and all as was taught all about and have a Great father over the church has been there for years. I know he would never touch a child . I know I haven`t been to church for a long time but I still believe and all. Now when I hear thing`s like this I say for the ones that do it it is about time they are finally starting to make them do the time for the crimes they have done to children, Should have gotten more time and Bet he will go back to his job after he gets out like nothing ever happened.

jaco1175 topcommenter

Where is Bill Hannegan to defend the priestly pederasts tonight? Usually he is on stories like this like flies on shit. Must be pedo porn night at Bill's place, at least you know you can smoke!

Elizabeth Jaggie
Elizabeth Jaggie

It's about time that these crimes are starting to be punished but being born and raised Catholic, I have to say that this is NOT exclusive to the Catholic Church, these weirdos are everywhere!!!

Eric O'Brien
Eric O'Brien

Yeah, but did you see Miley twerking at the VMAs?

Brian Seim
Brian Seim

Wow. Some news day. Burning dogs alive for kicks and men of God putting kids in porn movies. 3 years is all? There are people doing that for pot selling. One of these things is not like the others.

Leslee Brown
Leslee Brown

What a piece of crap. Another reason I'm a former Catholic. I want nothing to do with a bunch of perverts

Gary Muich
Gary Muich

Surprised it wasnt covered up by the catholic mafia!

David Eye
David Eye

when will people see Catholicism is a cult of pedophile pagans, not all catholic people, all seeing eyes, pyramids and sun worship symbolism, its pagan, its cult.

Michael Beckman
Michael Beckman

And yet people still worship and give money to the church?

Michael Beckman
Michael Beckman

"The Archdiocese fully supports the prosecution of crimes against children. Today, we pray for the safety and dignity of all children in our archdiocese and around the world." Hmm that's news to me seems like they only protect child fuckers all over the world

dalediversity topcommenter

Most of the Catholic flock (i.e. "Sheeple") will ignore this and continue to send their donations to the pope


Archbishop Carlson continues to do the bare minimum with sex offender clergy. Why didn't he go to Holy Infants and urge others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Vatterott's crimes and beg them to call law enforcement? He's had two years to do this.

Instead, he did only what he had to do. He suspended the priest, but probably only because his public relations team and defense lawyers and insurers insisted that he do so. 

When serious crimes are suspected, responsible adults do all they can to help police and prosecutors get to the truth. Carlson didn't do that with Vatterott. He refuses to do that with other sex offender priests. He acts like bishops have always acted in such cases - doing the least he can do. 

Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell,


Fr. Vatterott claims he'll live with his "paying for these mistakes" for the rest of his life. What this self-absorbed sex offender neglects to mention is that his victims will pay for the rest of their lives too. Among other problems, they'll have to worry whether naked photos of them as kids are being posted on the Internet or circulated among other sex offenders.

And by the way, locking your keys in your car or getting lost are "mistakes." These were crimes, not errors. As long as Fr. Vatterott mischaracterizes what he's done and blames alcohol for what he's done, there's little chance he'll reform.

David Clohessy, Executive Director, SNAP
Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests
7234 Arsenal Street               

St. Louis MO 63143               

314 566 9790,

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