MO–Victims blast KC archbishop over new disclosure

Survivors Network of Those Abused by Priests

For immediate release: Tuesday, Sept. 29

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those abused by Priests (314 566 9790,

“Credible allegations” of child sex abuse have surfaced against a deceased Kansas City area priest.

[The Leaven]

The short, quiet disclosure about Fr. Edward Roberts came on Sept. 11 in a church newspaper published by the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansa. Shame on Archbishop Joseph Naumann and his top aides. They know it’s disingenuous to disclose this information in this very limited way. They know that a small notice in a Catholic publication reduces the chances that a deeply wounded, still struggling survivor will see and be comforted by this news.

And shame on the newspaper’s staff: Father Mark Goldasich, Anita McSorley, Todd Habiger, Joe Bollig, Jill Ragar Esfeld, and Julie Holthaus. They also know it’s disingenuous to disclose this information in this very limited way.

Fr. Roberts worked at St. Peter Cathedral in KC, St Teresa in Westphalia, Sacred Heart in Baileville, St. Gregory in Marysville, St. Joseph in Nortonville and Holy Name in Topeka.

We strongly suspect that this isn’t the first report about abuse by Fr. Roberts that church officials have received.

We commend the brave individual who made this report. We hope he or she is working hard to recover from this trauma. And we hope others who saw, suspected or suffered Fr. Roberts’ crimes will come forward, seek help, expose wrongdoers, deter cover ups and start healing.

And we hope that KC Catholics – on both sides of the state line – will confront Naumann about his self-serving secrecy. Announcements like this should be made in the most open way possible. Naumann should hold a news conference about such revelations, begging victims, witnesses and whistleblowers to call police. (Fr. Roberts can’t be prosecuted but it’s possible that other clerics who concealed evidence, misled police, shredded documents or kept silent about these crimes might still be charged.)

It’s sad and ironic that this disclosure surfaces about 48 hours after Pope Francis said “abuse cannot be kept secret any longer” and “all responsible will be held accountable.”

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