Victims of clergy abuse say the Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City has not gone far enough to tell the public about a priest under investigation for alleged “boundary violations” involving minors. Bishop Shawn McKnight has informed Immaculate Conception School families in Jefferson City about Father Geoffrey Brooke being placed on leave during the review.
David Clohessy, president of the Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests, says Bishop Shawn McKnight did not inform members where Brooke previously served – at the Newman Center on the Mizzou campus in Columbia.
“I honestly think he (McKnight) tried to pull a fast one,” says Clohessy of St. Louis. He really hoped that there would be a chance at least that nobody at the Jefferson City parish would contact anybody in the press and that this could all go under the radar. To hide this information serves no one, except those who commit and those who conceal abuse.”
The Diocese’s website lists priests accused of abuse, but Clohessy says the page should also include every clergy member credibly accused of abuse, all locations the priests served and their whereabouts.
“Bishops disclose the absolute bare minimum, only when they feel like they have to, only under public pressure,” he says. “If Bishop McKnight is going to claim that he’s coming clean on abuse, then for Heaven sakes, come clean. Tell us all the names because that’s what protects kids and tell us where they worked, tell us where they are now.”
Missourinet has requested comment from the diocese but has not received one by the time this story was published.
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