KANSAS CITY, Kan. — The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas learned from media reports last evening that the Kansas Attorney General has released a report by the Kansas Bureau of Investigation of its investigation of historical allegations of sexual abuse made against Catholic clergy in the state.
Although there has not been sufficient time to carefully study the report, it reflects a detailed four-year investigation of all four dioceses (or church jurisdictions) in Kansas covering more than 50 years.
The trauma experienced by the victims is clear from the KBI report, said Archbishop Joseph Naumann, leader of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.
“You cannot read this report without your heart breaking,” he said.
The archbishop expressed his gratitude to the Kansas attorney general for the professionalism and thoroughness he and the Kansas Bureau of Investigation brought to the study. It was Archbishop Naumann who initially requested the investigation of archdiocesan files by the attorney general in 2018.
And he joins bishops across the state of Kansas in offering his deepest apologies to the victims, their families, the faithful of the church, and the Kansas Catholic community at large.
“The Archdiocese has openly collaborated with the KBI from the moment we initiated an extensive and thorough review of our internal files by an independent, outside law firm,” said Vicar General Father John Riley. “We shared the full results of our independent review with the KBI and have continued to provide additional information throughout the investigation.”
Like other dioceses across the country, the dioceses in Kansas have for some 20+ years implemented programs to protect children and vulnerable adults in its parishes and schools, and the report indicates a steep decline in allegations in recent decades.
But the most significant change Archbishop Naumann has introduced locally has been adopting a victim-centered approach using restorative principles to address the grave harm of abuse. He prays these efforts will be successful and provide a new avenue to bring healing to victims in the future.
In January 2019, the archdiocese published a list of substantiated allegations of abuse against archdiocesan priests, or other priests who had served within the archdiocese, and continues to maintain and update that list publicly.
If you suspect abuse or neglect, make a report to the Kansas Protection Report Center at (800) 922-5330. If you or someone you know has been abused by a cleric, employee, or volunteer of the Archdiocese — regardless of when the abuse may have occurred — call the archdiocesan confidential report line at (913) 647-3051 after calling local law enforcement. You can also make a report using the online form at: www.archkck.org/reportabuse.