I can reassure you that no priest exercising public ministry in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has had a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor made against him. If new information comes to light, the list will be updated and any priest with a substantiated allegation will be removed from ministry.Archbishop Joseph Naumann
Q. What information is included on your list of substantiated allegations of clergy abuse of a minor? Whose names are on the list?
A. This list contains the names of the clergy members against whom a substantiated claim of sexual abuse of a minor (a young person under the age of 18) has been received by the Archdiocese. The accused might have been a priest of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, a priest of another diocese assigned to work in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas, or a member of a religious order assigned to ministry in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
Q. How do you define “child sexual abuse”?
A. Sexual abuse of a child, minor or youth means any sexual act to or with a child or other sexual exploitation of a child or other behavior by which an adult uses a minor as an object of sexual gratification. The use, creation or possession of child pornographic images constitutes child sexual abuse. For purpose of archdiocesan policies, the term “sexual abuse” is not necessarily limited to the definitions of sexual abuse under civil or criminal law.
Q. What are the criteria for inclusion on the list?
A. Clergy members’ names are included on this list if there was a substantiated allegation of child sexual abuse against them. Their inclusion does not necessarily mean they were found guilty of a crime or are liable for civil claims. Many of the allegations received by the archdiocese are from decades ago and were reported many years after the alleged abuse, sometimes after the death of the accused.
Q. What do you mean by a substantiated allegation?
A. When a complaint is received, the archdiocese starts with the presumption that the allegation is being brought forward in good faith. The report investigator’s task is to investigate it thoroughly. An allegation is considered “substantiated” when it is corroborated with witness statements, documents, emails, photos, texts, or by another source, such as law enforcement. Obviously, if the accused member of the clergy admits to allegations the accusation is substantiated. However, an allegation can be considered substantiated, even if the accused denied the allegation, when there is corroborating evidence that supports the veracity of the allegation.
No matter how long ago the alleged abuse occurred, every effort is made to determine if the allegation can be substantiated.
Q. How many clergy files were reviewed and what time period did they cover?
A. The review included a total of some 1080 individual clergy files going back more than 75 years.
Q. Is this list complete?
A. This list is a complete and accurate representation of the substantiated allegations that have been made to the archdiocese against priests for whom we have files. The list is based on the extensive file review conducted by the independent law firm of Husch Blackwell. The archdiocese has received some historic allegations that could not be substantiated based on the information contained in the file. These are not allegations about anyone currently serving in priestly ministry. The report investigator will be asked to investigate the allegations and present her findings to the Independent Review Board. Once the IRB has made its recommendations, it is possible that names could be added to the current list.
If new information comes to the archdiocese, the list will be updated.
Q. Why was Husch Blackwell chosen to review the files?
A. Husch Blackwell was chosen because of its expertise in this field. The firm has conducted investigations and reviews covering a multitude of circumstances for a number of large religious organizations and public and private educational institutions throughout the United States.
Q. Why were some of these names not made public before now?
A. Many of these names have been made public previously. But some of these allegations were reported decades after the alleged abuse — in some cases, when the accused was deceased. In other instances, the victim requested that the matter not be publicized. The publication of this list, therefore, encompassing more than 75 years of records, is an effort to make all substantiated allegations of sexual abuse — even historical ones — public in the same way the archdiocese has made current ones.
Q. Does the archdiocese work with law enforcement to investigate reports of abuse?
A. Allegations of sexual abuse against children are reported to the appropriate law enforcement and child protection agencies as required by applicable state laws and the archdiocese’s Child Protection policy. Moreover, the archdiocese cooperates with law enforcement in the process of ensuing investigations.
Q. What happens to an allegation of child abuse by a member of the clergy once it is received?
A. The Archdiocese takes all allegations of sexual abuse of a minor seriously. Our staff is dedicated to create a process of healing for victims/survivors by using the restorative justice theory. Law enforcement is notified and an internal investigation is conducted. A more detailed description of our policy for investigations can be found on our website.