Local News Spotlight

Kansas archdiocese forwards name of accused priest to Vatican

Updated: 2012-11-02T22:26:29Z

By JUDY L. THOMAS

The Kansas City Star

Catholic officials in the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas are asking the Vatican to look into a case involving multiple allegations against one of its priests.

The archdiocese on Friday said it sent to the Vatican the results of an investigation it conducted into sexual abuse claims by three men against the Rev. John Wisner.

“The Vatican will look at the report that the archbishop has filed and they will either say to him, ‘Here’s how we think you should proceed,’ or they will say, ‘We’re going to take the case into our own hands and do further investigation,’ ” said Rose Hammes, spokeswoman for the archdiocese.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann removed Wisner from active ministry in May after receiving a complaint from a 45-year-old man who alleged Wisner had inappropriately touched him in 1982 on a youth outing when he was 15. The archdiocese received two more allegations after that from men in their 40s, Hammes said.

In a statement released Friday, the archdiocese said it had investigated the allegations and found them to be credible.

Wisner, who also is a medical doctor, denied that he engaged in sexual misconduct, the archdiocese said. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

Wisner was ordained in 1972 and had served as an associate pastor at St. Agnes Parish in Roeland Park since 1985. He also has worked at Sacred Heart and Christ the King Parishes in Kansas City, Kan., and St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee.

Wisner also had been an associate professor at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department. He retired in September, a school spokesman said.

The archdiocese encourages any persons who believe they have been sexually abused by a priest, employee or volunteer of any archdiocesan parish, school or agency to contact its Safe Environment Coordinator at 913-647-0324, the Confidential Report Line at 913-647-3051, or local law enforcement.

To reach Judy L. Thomas, call 816-234-4334 or send email to jthomas@kcstar.com

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