Vatican trial is set for KC predator priest
Vatican trial is set for KC predator priest
He abused kids, then was promoted to bishop
But victims say “No trial – just defrock him now”
SNAP also wants another KC bishop to be restricted
Under new rules, he can be banned from church gatherings
And 2 more ‘credibly accused’ clerics are exposed for first time
Holding signs and childhood photos at a sidewalk news conference, clergy sex abuse victims and their supporters will release letters to
--Pope Francis urging him to immediately defrock of a credibly accused child molesting bishop who abused at least eight KC kids, &
--KC’s current bishop urging him to deny 2 former KC bishops – both proven wrongdoers - from attending future church functions.
They will also disclose the names of and details about two more credibly accused KC predator priests for the first time.
Friday, July 5 at 11:15 a.m.
On the sidewalk outside the KC Catholic headquarters (“chancery office”), 20 West 9th Street (at Baltimore) in downtown Kansas City MO
Four-five members of a support group called SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAPnetwork.org)
--1) Catholic officials recently disclosed that Kansas City native Bishop Joseph H. Hart will face a rare Vatican trial. Hart was sued at least eight times for molesting KC kids and is accused of abusing kids in the Wyoming Catholic diocese, which he headed for 13 years. http://www.bishopaccountability.org/assign/Hart_Joseph.htm
SNAP wants Pope Francis to skip the trial and simply defrock Hart now. That’s what Francis did this year with another similarly situated predatory prelate, Cardinal Theodore McCarrick, who ran the Washington DC archdiocese.
In fact, SNAP notes, McCarrick faced fewer accusers than Hart does. And Francis defrocked McCarrick in just a few months. (Abuse reports against Hart, however, surfaced publicly 17 years ago.) And last month, the Wyoming diocese publicly deemed Hart a “credibly accused” child molester.
Several Catholic news outlets have announced Hart’s upcoming Vatican trial (though virtually no secular media in Missouri or Wyoming have).Vatican press office director Alessandro Gisotti confirmed the trial June 13 with Catholic News Service in Rome. [email protected]
Every known abuse lawsuit against Hart has been settled but he’s never been criminally charged.
In Kansas City, Hart worked at five parishes: Guardian Angel (1956-62), Visitation (1962-66), St. Therese (1966-68), St. James (1968-69) and St. John Francis Regis (1969-76). From 1964-76, he was the vice-chancellor of the KC MO diocese. In 1976, he was promoted to Wyoming where he headed the state-wide diocese until retiring in 2001.
Hart’s lawyers are R. Lawrence Ward (816 753 1000) and Tom Jubin (307 637 4965). Hart’s victims have been represented by KC attorney Rebecca Randles (816 510 2704). The Wyoming diocesan chancellor is Patti Loehrer (307 638 1530, [email protected]) and theCheyenne Police Department spokesman is Kevin Malatesta (307 633 6653).
--2) At their annual meeting last month, US bishops adopted new policies enabling them to bar or restrict the public ministry of other bishops who committed or concealed child sex crimes.
One measure, called the "Protocol Regarding Available Non-Penal Restrictions on Bishops,” addresses retired prelates who were found to have “failed to act” in preventing abuse.
SNAP wants KC MO Bishop James V. Johnston to use this new policy to bar both Hart and Bishop Robert Finn from church meetings and functions. Finn is the only US bishop to ever be convicted for concealing child sex crimes. The presence of both men at church activities “rubs salt into the already-deep and still-fresh wounds of betrayed Catholics and wounded victims,” SNAP says.
Since resigning, Finn has re-surfaced at several KC area church functions, drawing criticism from victims and Catholics.
--3) SNAP is also disclosing the names of two more ‘credibly accused’ child molesting clerics who spent time in the KC MO diocese but have escaped any or much attention locally. They are:
--Fr. Roger Hough, an Abilene Kansas native who studied at Conception Seminary in northwest Missouri, where he was ordained as a sub-deacon. He also spent time at Rockhurst College and at a university in Milwaukee. Kansas Catholic officials say Fr. Hough abused a child between 2001 and 2002 was removed from his post in 2005, and ordered to live a life of prayer and penance.
Fr. Hough worked in Delphos, Meredith, Salina and Glasco, all in Kansas. He was ‘outed’ as a credibly accused predator in March when Salina Bishop Gerald Vincke released the names of priests with substantiated abuse allegations.
--Fr. Martin Juarez, who attended UMKC in the 1970s. He was born in 1946 in Kansas City, Kansas and attended Colby Community College and seminaries in Denver and San Antonio.
In a 2017 lawsuit, he was accused of sexually abusing a nine year old at St. Matthew's in Topeka for three years in the early 1980s. Fr. Juarez was defrocked in 2005. His name appears on the ‘credibly accused’ list put out by the Kansas City Kansas Archdiocese a few months ago.
SNAP wants KC MO’s bishop to alert parents, parishioners and the public to the presence of these child molesting clerics in his diocese and the presence of nine others who have been ‘outed’ by SNAP and church officials over the past six months: Fr. Deusdedit Mulokozi, Msgr. John J. Rynish, Fr. Eugene Deragowski, Fr. Mark C. Ernstmann, Fr. James V. McCormick, Fr. Richard C. Colbert, Fr. Donald Redmond, Fr. Thomas A. Conway and Fr. Edgar Probstfield.
David Clohessy 314 566 9790, [email protected], Jim McConnell 816 590 4752, [email protected], [email protected]