OK Catholic official promoted to KS; SNAP responds
We’re disappointed that Msgr. Edward Weisenburger has been promoted. For the past 16 years, he has been a high-ranking official (vicar general) in an archdiocese (Oklahoma City) with a disturbing record with children’s safety.
Oklahoma City’s archbishop tapped Weisenburger for the vicar general spot. In that role, Weisenburger was surely intimately involved in virtually all cases of clergy sexual misconduct.
Barely a year ago, Weisenburger kept silent for at least a month, and likely much longer, about credible child sex abuse allegations against Fr. Steven D. Cude. (A civil lawsuit against Cude was filed by attorney Shad Withers).That’s a violation of the promises that all US bishops made a decade ago to be “open and transparent” in clergy sex cases.
Furthermore, we see no evidence that Weisenburger or his Oklahoma City colleagues did anything substantive to reach out to others hurt by Fr. Thomas Benke, who worked there for at least eight years and molested several boys. Ditto with Fr. Dave Imming, Fr. Daniel Keohane, or Fr. Robert L. Foster, all of whom are accused of sexually assaulting kids.
We hope that as Salina’s bishop, Weisenburger will quickly and clearly reach out to anyone who may have been hurt by including Fr. Finian Meis, Fr. Ron Gilardi and Fr. Robert Reif (all of whom are or were Salina priests and all of whom have been publicly and credibly accused of child sex crimes).
We hope the new bishop will beg anyone with information or suspicions about child sex crimes to call police immediately. And we hope he will do what 25 of his brother bishops have belatedly and begrudgingly done – post on his website, for the safety of kids, the names of all proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics.
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.