Diocese abuse inquiry names 33 priests, brothers
Thirty-three priests or religious brothers in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City, Mo., have been “credibly accused” and/or removed from the ministry over sexual abuse of minors, the bishop of the central Missouri diocese said Thursday.
Bishop W. Shawn McKnight released a complete list of the names that followed an internal investigation begun in February. The list includes 25 priests from the diocese, three priests from other areas who previously served in the Jefferson City diocese, and five members of a religious order.
Fourteen of the 33 men named are dead. Many of them are elderly. The diocese said the most recent case of physical sexual abuse found in the investigation occurred in 1997. He said only one man on the list was criminally convicted.
“Although the incidents are in the past, the pain caused is still a present reality for the survivors of abuse and their loved ones,” McKnight said in a statement. He apologized for the actions of the priests and brothers, “and the incomplete transparency we have lived under by not making all their names public.”
McKnight said another 18 allegations have been made since August, and internal investigations into some of those claims are ongoing. He encouraged any additional victims to come forward.