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Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese Names Three Priests Accused of Sexual Abuse in the 70s

Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese

Three priests accused of sexually abusing children four decades ago have been identified by the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese.

In a news release, the diocese said two priests, the Rev. John Brath and Monsignor John Rynish, have died.  Brath died in 2014 and Rynish in 2001.

A third priest, Rev. Fred Lutz, retired in 2011 from active ministry.

According to the diocese, each priest is accused of committing sexual abuse in the 1970s, but some of the allegations were made recently.

On August 15, Bishop Edward Rice ordered an independent review of all personnel files in the Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese.  In a news release, the diocese said the purpose of the review is “to insure that any past incidents of sexual abuse have been reported in compliance with Missouri law the Catholic Church’s Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and diocesan policy.”

It said any information located in diocesan records, which requires a report of sexual abuse under Missouri Law, will be reported to the Missouri Children’s Division and the prosecuting attorney.

The launch of the independent inquiry followed an investigation in Pennsylvania that uncovered more than 1,000 cases of abuse.

The Springfield-Cape Girardeau Diocese, in its news release Monday, detailed when and where each of the  priests, who are accused of sexual abuse, served.

Pastoral appointments for Fr. Fred Lutz:

  • As a Transitional Deacon, Rev. Mr. Lutz served in St. Mary of the Annunciation Cathedral, in Cape Girardeau (1972), and
  • Holy Trinity Parish, Springfield (1973).
  • 1973 Associate Pastor—Holy Trinity Parish, Springfield
  • 1974 Leave to Archdiocese of San Francisco
  • 1975 Parochial Administrator—SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Pulaskifield, and
  • St. Edward Parish, in Cassville, MO
  • 1975 Pastor—St. William Parish, Buffalo; Chaplain—Fordland Honor Camp
  • Parochial Administrator—Sacred Heart Parish, Conway
  • 1981 Leave
  • 1986 30-day retreat
  • 1987 Pastor—Immaculate Conception Parish, Jackson
  • 1988 Pastor—SS. Peter and Paul Parish, Pulaskifield, and
  • St. Edward Parish, Cassville
  • 1991 Pastor—St. Susanne Parish, Mount Vernon, and
  • St. Patrick Mission Church, Greenfield
  • 1994 Pastor—Guardian Angel Parish, Oran
  • 1996 Pastor—St. Joseph Parish, Advance, and
  • St. Anthony Mission Church, Glennon
  • 2003 Pastor—St. Benedict Parish, Doniphan, and
  • St. Anne Mission Church, in Grandin (mission closed in 2005)
  • 2005 Pastor—St. Mary Parish, Lamar
  • 2009 Health leave
  • 2010 Pastor—St. Mary Parish, Lamar
  • 2011 Retired

Pastoral appointments for Msgr. John J. Rynish:

  • 1943—Assistant Pastor, Holy Cross Parish, Kansas City, MO
  • 1950—Assistant Pastor, St. Wenceslaus Parish, Karlin, MO
  • 1952—Administrator, Sacred Heart Parish, Bolivar, MO, and
  • St. William Parish, Buffalo, MO
  • 1953—Assistant Pastor, St. Stephen Parish, Kansas City, MO
  • 1954—Pastor, St. Canera Parish, Neosho, MO
  • 1960—Pastor, St. Eustachius Parish, Portageville, MO
  • 1965—Pastor, Immaculate Conception Parish, Springfield, MO
  • 1969—Elected Diocesan Administrator at departure
  • of then-Bishop Ignatius Strecker until April 6, 1970
  • 1973—Elected Diocesan Administrator at departure
  • of then-Bishop William Baum until Dec. 5, 1973
  • 1977—Pastor, St. Mary Parish, Pierce City, MO
  • 1979—Pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Billings, MO
  • 1993—Retired
  • 2001—Deceased

 Pastoral appointments for Fr. John Brath:

  • 1968 Supply Priest—Immaculate Conception Parish, New Madrid, MO
  • 1968 Pastor—St. William Parish, Buffalo, MO
  • 1968 Counselor—Sacred Heart House of Studies, Springfield (until 1971)
  • 1970 Administrator—Sacred Heart Parish, Conway, MO; and
  • Religion teacher in St. Agnes Regional High School, Springfield
  • 1971 Released to military service
  • 1974 Administrator—St. William Parish, Buffalo, MO
  • 1975 Pastor—Sacred Heart Parish, Webb City, MO; and
  • Chaplain, Missouri Southern College, Joplin, MO
  • 1976 Pastor—Our Lady of the Lake Parish, Branson, and
  • Our Lady of the Ozarks Parish, Forsyth, MO
  • 1977 Additional responsibilities as Pastor—Our Lady of the Cove Parish,
  • Kimberling City, MO
  • 1981 Pastor—St. Francis de Sales Parish, Lebanon, MO
  • 1986 Pastor—St. Mary Parish, Pierce City, MO
  • 1991 Pastor—St. Joseph the Worker Parish, Ozark, MO
  • 1996 Pastor—Our Lady of the Cove, Kimberling City, MO
  • 1998 Additional responsibilities as Pastor—Holy Family Parish, Shell Knob, MO
  • 2001 Pastor—St. Mary Parish, West Plains, MO; Sacred Heart Parish, Thayer
  • 2004 Pastor—St. Francis de Sales Parish, Lebanon, MO
  • 2007 Retired
  • 2014 Deceased

Michele Skalicky has worked at KSMU since the station occupied the old white house at National and Grand. She enjoys working on both the announcing side and in news and has been the recipient of statewide and national awards for news reporting. She likes to tell stories that make a difference. Michele enjoys outdoor activities, including hiking, camping and leisurely kayaking.