Diocese of Wichita Finally Releases List of Accused Priests
Finally, 17 years after US church officials began posting the names of priests accused of abuse on church websites, Wichita’s bishop has taken this step himself. Parents, police, parishioners, prosecutors and the public should look closely at this release and ask the bishop why it took so long for this list to be published.
Bishop Carl Kemme must also explain why the watchdog database BishopAccountability.org, has an additional priest that has been publicly accused of abusing children in Wichita who does not appear on the bishop’s list, Fr. Daniel B. Mulvihill. BishopAccountability also names a nun, Sister Agnesina Metzinger as a publicly accused abuser within the diocese.
Bishop Kemme should go back into his files and determine why there is a discrepancy between his list and publicly available information. We also want the bishop to take three additional steps.
First, he should include the photos and whereabouts of every one of the accused. Information about where those who are living are now is important because nearby parents and prospective employers should be warned about their background.
Photos are important because they 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 someone who may have worked in their church for just a few months.
Second, the bishop should also include the names of publicly accused brothers, sisters, and lay employees on his list. The full scope of abuse within the diocese is not told otherwise.
Finally, Bishop Kemme should aggressively seek out others who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse, using pulpit announcements, church websites and parish bulletins. He should then share that information with law enforcement and offer help to the wounded. The bishop should not just sit back and wait for the phone to ring. We hope that he will begin this outreach today.
CONTACT: Zach Hiner, 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)