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Archive for Thursday, June 16, 2011

Group wants Catholic Church in Kansas to improve communication about sexual abuse

June 16, 2011, 12:39 p.m. Updated June 16, 2011, 2:32 p.m.

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Former priest suspected of sexual abuse being sent back to Texas

Former Catholic priest John M. Fiala is being extradited to Texas after being arrested in Lawrence. Enlarge video

This Nov. 18, 2010 photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff's Department shows John Fiala. Fiala, a former Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually abusing a teenage boy in 2008 in his rural Texas parish is now accused of plotting the alleged victim's murder, authorities said. (AP Photo/Dallas County Sheriff's Department)

This Nov. 18, 2010 photo provided by the Dallas County Sheriff's Department shows John Fiala. Fiala, a former Roman Catholic priest charged with sexually abusing a teenage boy in 2008 in his rural Texas parish is now accused of plotting the alleged victim's murder, authorities said. (AP Photo/Dallas County Sheriff's Department)

Advocates against sexual abuse in the Catholic Church were in Lawrence Thursday urging local church officials to be more proactive in outreach to victims.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, said his organization is concerned about the potential for more sexual abuse victims of former Kansas priest John Martin Fiala.

Fiala, 52, was arrested by U.S. Marshals in Lawrence in September and extradited to Texas, where he is facing criminal charges for the alleged sexual abuse of a minor. Fiala is also charged with trying to hire a hitman to kill the alleged victim, according to the San Antonio Express-News reports.

Fiala served in the St. Joseph’s parish in Shawnee in 2001 and 2002, followed by several months at a parish in Holton, according to news reports.

Clohessy spoke at a news conference in front of the Judicial and Law Enforcement building, 11 E. 11th St., today.

“The local church officials have a moral and civic obligation to reach out and try to find anyone he may have hurt,” Clohessy said. Those are steps the Archdiocese of Kansas City Kansas has yet to take, he said.

“We’ve seen no evidence that they’ve done real outreach,” he said.

Clohessy said that there have not been any reported allegations that Fiala sexually abused anyone during his tenure in Kansas.

Rose Hammes, director of communication and planning, took issue with Clohessy's allegations in an email statement to the Journal-World on Thursday.

"The SNAP statements are erroneous. We did work with all of the parishes that had contact with Fiala, inviting anyone from those parishes, if they had suffered abuse, to contact us. It was published in the parish bulletins. No one contacted the Archdiocese," Hammes said.

A June 2010 Journal-World feature outlined allegations of sexual abuse in all four of the Kansas Catholic Dioceses. At that time, no one from any of the Dioceses would agree to an interview with the Journal-World regarding allegations of abuse.

Comments

yourworstnightmare 2 years, 10 months ago

"Group wants Catholic Church in Kansas to improve communication about sexual abuse"

Ok. You mean something like saying "Ok, I'm gonna touch you now.".

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blindrabbit 2 years, 10 months ago

Why do us-ins non-Catholic Christians as well as Muslims, Buddhists, Sikhs, Shintoists, Hinduists, New-Ageists, Agnostics and Atheists, Druids and many others have to put up with all of this Catholic Crap! Bigpimpin your, "We the Best", should be "We the Most Gullible".

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jhawkinsf 2 years, 10 months ago

I was listening to NPR, oh, about a decade ago. A researcher was comparing the amount of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church as compared to other churches. What he said was the the numbers of abusers was about the same. What made the Catholic Church different was that because of the structure of the church, based on a hierarchy, it was easier for abusers to move around without being exposed. They just get moved from one parish to another, with the higher-ups concealing their dirty laundry. Other churches (including other religions) had the same number of abusers, but they got exposed before they could abuse large numbers.

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UNIKU 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes -- many Catholics DO think they are the best....which is why many priests think they are above the law (not all, Fr. John here in town is a great guy and a huge exception). But the dioceses and Vatican certainly think that way and hide handle all this crap internally...pathetic.

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bigpimpin 2 years, 10 months ago

Oh SNAP!

Get it?

What about sexual abuse in other churches? Oh, that's right...y'all only care about the rich and powerful. CATHOLICS BABY! WE THE BEST! Just wish that whole masturbation thing could get worked out.

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