MO - New lawsuit filed against predator priest
- Cleric was credibly accused earlier this year
- Abuse survivors react to news of grand jury investigation
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will
-- announce a new civil child sex abuse and cover-up lawsuit being filed against a KC area Catholic priest who was sued earlier this spring,
-- prod citizens and Catholics – especially current and former church employees – to share what they know about clergy sex crimes with a prosecutor who is heading a grand jury, and
---- urge Kansas City’s embattled bishop to use his resources to reach out to encourage any other victims of the priest to come forward.
TODAY, Thursday, August 25 at 1:30 p.m.
Outside the Kansas City diocesan headquarters, 20 West Ninth Street (at Baltimore) in Kansas City, MO.
Two-three child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org).
A man is filing a new civil child sex abuse and cover up lawsuit charging that he was sexually abused around age nine by Fr. Mark A. Honhart at Holy Cross parish in North East Kansas City in the 1980s. It’s the second suit Honhart faces.
In March, Honhart and a second KC priest, Fr. Hugh F. Monahan, were named in the same suit for separately molesting a boy over a five –year span in the 1980s. The suit claims diocese knew or should have known that both priests were abusive, yet did nothing to stop it.
Honhart is believed to be in Pennsylvania. Monahan’s current whereabouts are unknown.
Honhart was working as a priest in the Diocese of Scranton up until this February. He was put on leave when church officials learned of the accusations against him. He has also worked in New Mexico.
Monahan has been previously accused of abusing several children in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2008 he settled with six men for $10 million.
According to the KC Star, “Honhart worked in six parishes in the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese from 1980 to 2001” and more recently in the Diocese of Scranton in Pennsylvania. The Star also reported that church officials there said they had received an allegation of sexual misconduct against Honhart in February and notified KC church officials. But SNAP says that even after Scranton’s bishop ousted Honhart, KC Bishop Robert Finn stayed silent, refusing to warn his flock about the accused cleric.
The victim is filing as a “John Doe.” He has suffered severe relationship difficulties, along with drug and alcohol abuse, according to his attorney, Rebecca Randles of Kansas City (816 931 9901).
A photo of Honhart is available at BishopAccountability.orghttp://www.bishop-accountability.org/news2011/03_04/2011_03_08_Thomas_LawsuitAccuses.htm
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.
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.