MO--Another new KC Catholic abuse case; Victims respond
For immediate release: Friday, April 22, 2016
Another KC Catholic worker is accused of child sex crimes. Bishop James Johnston should visit the affected parish this weekend and beg victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police so the predator can be convicted and kept away from kids for a long time.
James Burton, a custodian at St. Peter’s parish, is charged with molesting a child.
It’s ironic that just hours after another church “healing service,” more child sex crimes by a Catholic employee are disclosed. Bishop James Johnston is desperately trying to “turn the page” and “move forward” and imply that the diocese’s abuse and cover up is largely over. It’s not. And it’s disingenuous to pretend it is.
Church officials claim they this quiet at the request of law enforcement. We hope but doubt that’s true. But what matters now is whether they help police and prosecutors build a strong case. We beg them to use church bulletins, parish websites, pulpit announcements and other ways to aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes by Burton or cover ups by colleagues.
We fear Bishop Johnston will act just like Bishop Finn, and sit passively back, letting the burden of keeping this predator away from kids fall on his victims and the police. That’s wrong. It’s tempting, but it’s irresponsible.
Here’s Bishop Johnston’s chance to chart a new course. We hope he will. But we’re not optimistic.
No matter what lawmakers or church officials do or don’t do, we urge every single person who saw, suspected or suffered child sex crimes and cover ups in Catholic churches or institutions to protect kids by calling police, get help by calling therapists, expose wrongdoers by calling law enforcement, get justice by calling attorneys, and be comforted by calling support groups like ours. This is how kids will be safer, adults will recover, criminals will be prosecuted, cover ups will be deterred and the truth will surface.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 20,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
Maintenance supervisor at St. Peter Parish charged with child sexual abuse
41 Action News Staff, Cynthia Newsome - 6:35 PM, Apr 21, 2016
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - A Kansas City man who was employed at an area church has been charged with child sexual abuse.
James Burton was charged with two counts of statutory sodomy, one count of child molestation and attempted sexual misconduct, according to court documents.
The Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph said in a statement the alleged abuse did not occur on any diocesan property and the victim is not a student at any diocesan school.
Burton is employed as a maintenance supervisor at St. Peter Parish in Kansas City. On Friday, April 8, the diocese was alerted to an allegation of abuse against Burton. It was confirmed that there were ongoing investigations pending . . .
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.