Predator priest sued for 1st time
- Predator priest sued for 1st time
- He was suspended just last year
- Years before, cleric had admitted his crimes
- Victims urge KC Catholic authorities to “reach out”
- SNAP to Finn: “Don’t split hairs – do your moral & civic duty”
- Support group wants veteran priest in a remote treatment center
Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse victims will disclose and discuss the first civil child abuse and cover up suit against a KC area priest. They will also urge Catholic officials to
--disclose the admitted child molester’s whereabouts,
--put and keep him in a remote facility for sex offenders, and
--aggressively reach out to anyone with information about his crimes.
Today, Wednesday, Feb. 8
At 1:00 PM., in KC, outside the KC chancery (diocesan headquarters) 20 West Ninth Street (at Baltimore)
At 3:15 PM, in St. Joseph, outside Bishop LeBlond High School 3529 Frederick (where some of the abuse happened)
Two child sex abuse victims who belong to a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest (SNAPnetwork.org), including a St. Louis woman who is the organization’s outreach director
Last June, a now-middle aged man reported, in person, to local Catholic officials that he had been molested as a child by Fr. James Urbanic. Roughly a month later, the church hierarchy suspended Urbanic from active ministry at Sacred Heart parish in Warrensburg in Bishop Robert Finn’s Kansas City diocese. It was the first time allegations against the priest had been made public.
Now, that victim is filing the first civil child sex abuse and cover up suit against Urbanic and Catholic officials.
The alleged crimes happened in the 1970s, when the boy was roughly 15 and belonged to St. Francis Xavier church in St. Joseph. Urbanic also molested him at Bishop LeBlond High School.
Urbanic’s direct supervisor is Fr. Joseph Nassal of Liberty MO, head of a Liberty-based religious order called the Missionaries of the Precious Blood. (816-781-4344, firstname.lastname@example.org). In the past, Urbanic has actually been the ‘provincial’ or regional director of that order.
However, religious order clerics like Urbanic are also under the authority of the diocesan bishop. So SNAP believes that both Nassal and Finn have the civic and moral duty to share information about Urbanic with law enforcement, the public, and all parishioners in the diocese.
With the permission of KC diocesan officials, Urbanic also worked as associate pastor of St. James Catholic Church in Liberty. He was in Warrensburg from July 2008 until July 2011.
SNAP worries that others who have been hurt by Urbanic may still be “suffering in shame, isolation and self blame” and want Catholic officials – both from the diocese and the religious order - to “aggressively reach out to others in pain.” They also want Finn and Nassal to disclose Urbanic’s whereabouts and make sure he’s in – and stays in – a remote, secure, independent treatment facility so he’ll be away from kids.
Urbanic was ordained in 1971. His photo is available at BishopAccountability.org
The victim now lives outside of Missouri, is divorced, is in his 50s and is a police officer.
KC attorney Rebecca Randles represents the victim. It is not known who represents Urbanic or his religious order. KC attor ney Jon Haden represents the diocese.
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.