Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau reports a complaint of sexual abuse


The Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau reports a complaint of sexual abuse of a minor involving Father John Wells, deceased (1972). The allegation pertains to a period in the late-1960s. The Diocese has notified civil authorities of the allegation.

John Wells was born in 1925 in Louisville, KY, and was ordained a priest in 1950 for the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. He was incardinated into the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Giardeau in 1964. Father John Wells died Dec. 28, 1972.

Pastoral appointments for Father John Wells included:

1961 Associate Pastor, St. Francis Xavier Parish, Sikeston, MO

and St. Anthony Mission in Glennon, MO

1962 Associate Pastor, Immaculate Conception Parish, New Madrid, MO

1966-1972 Pastor, St. Joseph Parish, Advance, and St. Anthony Mission in Glennon, MO

Assistance Provided to Victims

The Diocese will reach out to every person who has been the victim of sexual abuse as a minor by anyone acting in the name of the Church, whether the abuse was recent or occurred many years in the past. This outreach will include provisions of counseling, spiritual assistance, support groups, and other social services agreed upon by the victim and the Diocese.  The Assistance Coordinator will aid in the immediate pastoral care of person(s) who claim to have been sexually abused as minors by clergy or other diocesan personnel.

Persons who wish to document an allegation may do so through our TIPS Web-based portal (see www.dioscg.org, look for “TIPS” link); or call the Missouri Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-392-3738; or telephone The Most Rev. Edward M. Rice, Bishop, (417) 866-0841; or Rev. Msgr. Thomas Reidy, Chancellor, (417) 866-0841; or our diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator, Judy St. John, LPC, NCC (573) 587-3139 or vac1@dioscg.org.

The Safe Environment Procedures/Code of Conduct for the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau is available for review upon request or by logging on to www.dioscg.org under the Child and Youth Protection ministry tab.