KS- Priest with multiple allegations is defrocked, SNAP responds

For immediate release: Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Statement by Melanie Sakoda, Secretary, Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP), [email protected], 925-708-6175

A Kansas City priest with multiple allegations of abuse was apparently quietly defrocked months ago, according to a small announcement in The Leaven.  Father John H. Wisner was laicized by Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann last December, with the decision affirmed by the Vatican in March.


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While we are glad that this former priest has been removed from ministry, we are disappointed that the resolution of this case was kept virtually secret. In 2002 the Catholic bishops pledged to be more transparent, and this does not seem in keeping with that promise. The survivors who came forward at great personal cost deserve to be validated publicly.

Moreover, there may well be other victims who are suffering alone and in silence. These tortured souls may think that they were the only ones who were hurt by Father Wisner. A public announcement from the bishop would have served as a first step on their path to personal healing. 

Contrary to what was written in the announcement, we would also encourage anyone with information about criminal behavior to report directly to law enforcement, not the Church. Those who believe themselves to have been abused can also reach out to support groups like ours for help and support.

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, is the world's oldest and largest support group for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings. SNAP was founded in 1988 and has more than 25,000 supporters. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org

Contact  -  Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, [email protected]), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, [email protected]), Melanie Sakoda (925-708-6175, [email protected])

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant