|Priest Temporarily Suspended for Alleged Sex Crime
January 8, 2010
EFFERSON CITY - The Jefferson City Archdiocese has temporarily removed Father Thomas Seifner from his position in Osage County while they review the report against him.
Seifner's ministered at Immaculate Conception Church in Loose Creek and St. Louis of France Catholic Church in Bonnots Mill since July 2009. Both of the churches are small, Loose Creek has a 340 household membership and Bonnots Mill has an 80 household membership.
"I was shocked and in disbelief. I never thought he could do anything like this", said Immaculate Conception parishioner Jennifer Vaughan.
The report accused Seifner of inappropriate electronic communication with a minor in 2004. That minor is now an adult. In a statement to the public, Bishop John Gaydos said:
"The protection of children is a primary concern for the Diocese of Jefferson City. As your bishop, I am committed to ensure that the church is a safe and healthy place for all children".
Even so, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says church officials are not doing enough.
"There's a civil and moral duty for the church to publicly disclose this. And also what's troubling, we don't know if the diocese has contacted the prosecutor or police", said SNAP member Bryan Bacon of Columbia.
"He just looked like a big bear you want to hug. He was warm and open to everybody. He said hello to everybody, he made you feel like you were part of his family", Vaughan added.
Seifner was ordained in 1992. He previously worked in Westphalia, Pilot Grove, Clifton City, Wardsville, Chamois, Palmyra and Mokane.
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