North Dakota Priest Under Investigation for Abuse, SNAP Urges Outreach by Church Officials

A Catholic priest may face criminal child sex abuse charges in North Dakota. We call on church officials to use all their resources to encourage anyone with knowledge about these allegations to call law enforcement immediately.

In early April, the Diocese of Fargo disclosed that police were investigating Fr. Wenceslaus Katanga on allegations of child abuse. Just today the Cass County Attorney’s Office announced there are “no corroborating witnesses or physical evidence to support” the accusations in their county.

However, during the probe more allegations against the priest surfaced in another county, and there is a chance charges can be filed by prosecutors in McHenry County.

We believe it is crucial that serious accusations like this be thoroughly examined by law enforcement professionals. If church officials want what is best for children in their diocese, they should want this a complete investigation too. We call on Bishop John Folda of the Diocese of Fargo to use church bulletins, parish websites and pulpit announcements to reach out to anyone who may have information about these allegations. He should urge current and former churchgoers and staff with pertinent knowledge to immediately call police or prosecutors.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.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)


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