Catholic officials put accused KS predator priest back on the job
(For Immediate Release May 5, 2022)
In what appears to be a "speed of light" investigation, Fr. Michael Scully is back to work a little over a month after his suspension. Fr. Scully's suspension was announced on March 25, 2022, in the Kansas City Kansas Archdiocesan publication, The Leaven.
It is troubling that the Archdiocese was notified of the accusation on February 28th of this year, but apparently did not take any action for almost a month. Fr. Scully should have been suspended immediately. As best as we can tell, there was no public notice of the suspension. Most Catholic abuse survivors do not read diocesan publications. However, those same officials apparently took the time to release a public statement when a Church panel "cleared" the priest, likely discouraging other victims from coming forward.
We find it disappointing and irresponsible that at no point over the past few months did any Church official - from Archbishop to pastor, in Kansas or Colorado - use his pulpit or website or parish bulletin to seek out anyone who might have seen, suspected, or suffered wrongdoing by Fr. Scully.
Just days ago, SNAP notified the news media of the abuse report against Fr. Scully. Within 72 hours, Catholic officials announced, "he's OK." By Church standards, that is an unusually quick decision.
Most victims stay silent for decades. Many stay silent forever. But those who do speak up often act when they see evidence that their disclosure might make a difference. So the weeks and months after a suspended or suspected perpetrator are disclosed is a critical period. When that time is extremely short, that gives little opportunity for victims - and witnesses and whistleblowers - to find the courage to step forward.
Now more than ever, we beg two Kansas church officials (Kansas City Kansas Archbishop Joseph Naumann and Salina Bishop Gerald L. Vincke), two Colorado church officials (Denver-based Archbishop Samuel Aquila and Capuchin Br. Mark Schenk), and two Thomas More Prep-Marian High School officials (Principal Chat Meitner, [email protected] and Alumni Director Wanda Billinger, [email protected]) to use their considerable resources to aggressively seek out anyone who may have seen, suspected or suffered crimes or cover-ups by Fr. Scully or his supervisors or colleagues.
It is crucial that other possible victims, witnesses, and whistleblowers be prodded to come forward so that the truth can be determined, children can be protected and victims can heal.
This is especially important because the Kansas Bureau of Investigation is currently looking into child sex crimes and cover-ups by Catholic officials and institutions.
CONTACT: David Clohessy, SNAP, St. Louis, Missouri (314 566 9790, [email protected]), Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager (267-261-0578, [email protected]) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for more than 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is www.snapnetwork.org)