I, a Catholic priest and an advocate for victims/survivors of clergy sexual abuse, applaud and appreciate the decision of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation to investigate the four Catholic dioceses in Kansas regarding their handling of allegations of clergy sexual abuse of children and minors. I hope this investigation also includes the Catholic religious orders operating within Kansas because approximately one-third of the Catholic priests in the United States belong to a religious order and are not attached to any diocese.
In addition, I strongly support 2019 SB 64, proposed legislation introduced by Kansas State Senator Tom Holland that would empower the Attorney General of Kansas to receive allegations of clergy sexual abuse of a child or a minor, investigate those allegations, and then initiate law enforcement actions, if appropriate.
Civil authorities need to do what the Catholic Church refuses to do: identify the complete truth about clergy sexual abuse in the church, and then proclaim that truth to the public, not simply among the church membership.
Without the complete truth there can be no justice, and without justice there will be no healing.
Fr. James Connell
A priest of the Catholic Archdiocese of Milwaukee