Schmidt Ordained Priest, Says Monsignor Lavelle, But Forged His Letters
Mgr. Lavelle, Vicar-General of the New York diocese, this afternoon declared that he was certain Hans Schmidt was a regularly ordained priest, but that the confessed slayer probably had brought forged recommendations with him when he came to America six years ago.
“Cablegrams from Europe assured me to-day that Schmidt was ordained, as he claimed, and they also inform me that Schmidt was not popular in Austria and Germany.” said Mgr. Lavelle.
“He came to New York with very good recommendations and we gave him a place, for we try to take care of men who occupy such a position as his. It would not be well for the dignity of the priesthood if one should be allowed to become destitute.
“We had no intention of allowing Schmidt to remain in this country.” continued Mgr. Lavelle. “We always assume that wanderers such as Schmidt are not wandering because of his superior intelligence or ability. We had taken no steps, however, to send him back to Europe.
“He left Trenton because of a technical offense, and therefore we did not hold this against him, but gave him a place here, as he had recommendations from other places. No adverse reports of any kind have been made against him to us. If there had been I would have instituted an immediate investigation.
“Schmidt left Europe under a cloud. I do not know what his offense was. I think that he must have forged his recommendations which he first presented in this country. We do not investigate such letters when they appear to be authentic.
“If at any time we had had any suspicion that Schmidt was leading a double life or was not fit for the priesthood we would have taken action.”