Diocese of Dodge City Releases List of Accused Priests
Finally, 17 years after US bishops began posting the names of priests accused of abuse on church websites, the Diocese of Dodge City has done so. Parents, police, parishioners, prosecutors and the public should ask why the bishop waited for eight years before disclosing the names of these potentially dangerous men.
We call on Bishop John B. Brungardt to explain this unnecessary delay. Catholics should stop giving until he does. We also want Bishop Brungardt to take two further steps.
First, include dates with the work histories, photos and current whereabouts of every accused clergyman, brother, nun, seminarian or staffer. Where these individuals are now is important because nearby parents and prospective employers should be warned about their presence.
These other details are important because that information helps victims identify those who assaulted them. It usually takes decades for survivors to come forward. They might only recall that everyone called the priest "Father Mac," not knowing whether he was Fr. Mack Smith or Fr. McGillicuty or Fr. MacArthur. Even parents who are long-time parishioners may have trouble remembering a priest who may have worked in their church just a few months.
Next, the bishop should seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse using pulpit announcements, church websites and parish bulletins. That information should be shared with law enforcement and help offered to the wounded. We believe that it is wrong to passively sit back and wait for the phone to ring, knowing there may be hundreds still out there struggling in silence, shame and self-blame.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (firstname.lastname@example.org, 517-974-9009)
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)