Sexual abuse allegations against former local priest confirmed

Excelsior Springs Standard

January 19, 2018

A December notice from The Catholic Key, a newspaper published by the Diocese of Kansas City—St. Joseph, announced that sexual abuse allegations against Father Sylvester James Hoppe have been confirmed by the Diocese.

According to the Diocese, this allegation marks the seventh confirmed claim against Hoppe by the Roman Catholic Church, and two additional lawsuits claiming childhood sexual abuse against Hoppe were settled by the Diocese in 2008. The most recent claim dates to abuse that occurred from 1953-1956.

Hoppe was ordained in 1946 at the age of 35 and he retired in June 1991 after serving in numerous communities across the Kansas City—St. Joseph Diocese. Diocesan records note Hoppe was a priest at St. Ann’s Catholic Church in Excelsior Springs from 1971-1982.

To date, all substantiated allegations against Hoppe date back to the 1950s, when he was Chaplain at St. Mary’s Orphanage and State Hospital in St. Joseph, Mo. From 1951-1958, Hoppe lived on campus at the orphanage, which housed boys girls and boys. Hoppe also worked closely with the Boy Scouts of America throughout his entire career with the Church.

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