Citing the best interest of the victim, prosecutors dismiss criminal charges against a Catholic priest; SNAP reacts
Wyandotte County prosecutors dismissed the charges in a criminal case against an Archdiocese of Kansas City Kansas priest, Fr. Scott Kallal. The cleric was facing two felonies for sexually abusing a child in 2015. While we respect the decision made by the DA's office, our thoughts are with this courageous young survivor and we are concerned about the message this may send to other potential victims who are considering reporting to law enforcement.
In July of 2017 Fr. Kallal was suspended from public ministry after the Archdiocese received allegations from two different sources that he had engaged in "boundary violations." A man stated publicly that, in the summer of 2015, the priest had tickled his 11-year-old daughter and touched her breast at a church gathering. Fr. Kallal denied "any moral misconduct or malicious intent" and was sent to Maryland for treatment. He was arrested shortly thereafter on two counts of aggravated indecent liberties with a child. A trial in September 2019, ended in a hung jury. Fr. Kallal was to be retried in Spring 2020.
According to the independent watchdog group BishopAccountability, Fr. Kallal was ordained in 2011in Kansas City, Kansas, for the Rome-based Apostles of the Interior Life. His whereabouts until 2014 are unclear; the 2013 and 2014 Catholic Directories show that he was assigned to "Further Studies." During 2014-2016 the clergyman was an assistant priest at St. Patrick's in Kansas City, after which he assumed the same role at Holy Spirit in Overland Park. That is a quick change in assignments, and it is concerning to us.
We are also concerned with the whereabouts of Fr. Kallal in 2013-2014. Where exactly was he and what was this newly ordained priest doing during that period of time? To us this is another red flag and it is the responsibility and obligation of the Archdiocese of Kansas City to make this information public. Furthermore, we believe that the Archdiocese, along with the Wyandotte County prosecutors, should be urging anyone who may have suffered, witnessed or suspected Fr. Kallal of abuse in any of his assignments to come forward immediately to law enforcement.