Dio­cese abuse in­quiry names 33 priests, broth­ers

The Middletown Press (Middletown, CT) - - OBITUARIES/NEWS -

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.

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