The Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City bishop has released a list of 33 priests and other clergy members credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors and/or removed from diocese’s ministry. The list shows 13 priests or members of the order have been removed, one has been imprisoned, two have withdrawn and one has been expelled from the ministry. Fourteen others are dead.
Bishop Shawn McKnight says the most recent case of sexual abuse in his Diocese occurred in 1997. Since then, he says two credible allegations have been made – one involved the use of social media and the other was online pornography of minors.
McKnight says the diocese has spent 4.7-million dollars since 2003 on expenses related to such cases, in addition to about 1.5-million from its founding in 1956 to 2003.
The Catholic church has been facing growing public pressure worldwide since a report was released in August by a Pennsylvania grand jury identifying more than 300 priests as sexual predators. The report went on to say more than 1,000 children were abused while the church spent decades covering up the crimes.
McKnight says more victims could come forward and he’s encouraging people to report suspected abuse to the diocese and Missouri’s Child Abuse and Neglect hotline.
The Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect hotline: 1-800-392-3738
The Missouri Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline: 1-800-392-0210
The diocese’s Victim Assistance Coordinator: 573-694-3199 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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