Statement on Attorney General’s Report
The Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph is grateful to Attorney General Eric Schmitt and his office for conducting an investigation of the scourge of clerical sexual abuse of minors in the four dioceses of Missouri. We hope, that along with the release of our own list of clerics with substantiated allegations of abuse of minors, his report will lift some of the darkness and bring some sense of justice and healing to victims of clerical sexual abuse.
While the Attorney General’s report does not contain names of perpetrators, we believe that one of the 12 priests of Missouri which he will refer for local prosecution is Hugh Monahan, a former priest of the Diocese of Kansas City – St. Joseph. Monahan was the subject of several claims which were settled by the diocese and he is on our list of clerics with substantiated allegations of abuse of minors. Monahan left his parish and disappeared in 1989 before any allegations were made against him. Previous efforts by the diocese and investigators to locate him have been unsuccessful. Following the Attorney General’s press conference this morning, our diocesan attorney immediately contacted the Jackson County Prosecutor’s Office pledging our continued support in seeking justice for Monahan’s victims.
The diocese continues to review and improve the processes and efforts of its Office of Child and Youth Protection and Independent Review Board to address allegations of sexual abuse of a minor, to promote awareness of the topics of sexual abuse and appropriate boundaries, and to provide care and support to victims and their families by acknowledging and repenting for the failures of the past. The diocese will seriously consider Attorney General Schmitt’s recommendations and strive to implement any proposal that can strengthen our existing protocols.