Kc Diocese Adds Priest Who Died in 1950 to List of Those Credibly Accused of Sex Abuse
By Judy L. Thomas
Kansas City Star
April 6, 2020
A priest who served in the Diocese of St. Joseph in the 1940s is the latest addition to a list of clergy deemed to have credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor made against them.
The Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese said the allegation against the Rev. Peter Clement Vatter was substantiated by the diocesan ombudsman, the diocese’s independent review board and Bishop James V. Johnston Jr.
The abuse occurred in the late 1940s, the diocese said, when Vatter was assigned as pastor at Immaculate Conception Parish in Moberly. The parish was renamed St. Pius X Parish in 1955. Vatter died on Nov. 29, 1950.
“Bishop Johnston and diocesan leaders recognize how difficult it can be for a survivor of clergy sexual abuse to come forward and appreciate the great courage it takes in making a report to the Church,” the notice said.
“If you were harmed by Fr. Vatter or any other person who has worked or volunteered for the diocese, no matter how long ago, the diocese wants to provide care and healing resources to you and your family.”
An announcement about Vatter was posted Sunday on the diocese’s website. It brings to 25 the number of credibly accused clergy with ties to the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph.
In September, the diocese released a list of 24 priests it said had been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. That list covered the period from 1956 to the present. Most of the priests have had multiple allegations.
Of those 24, 19 were priests of the Kansas City-St. Joseph diocese, three worked in the diocese but are now under the jurisdiction of other dioceses and two served in the diocese but belonged to religious orders. Thirteen of the diocesan priests were deceased, two had been permanently removed from ministry, and four had been laicized, or removed from the clerical state.