KCK archbishop says independent investigation into priest sex abuse now underway

The Kansas City Star

August 31, 2018

By Judy L. Thomas

Saying “transparency is imperative,” the leader of the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas told area Catholics on Friday that an independent investigation into priest sex abuse is now underway.

“To ensure that we have an accurate historical knowledge of how the archdiocese has responded to allegations of misconduct, I have decided to engage an independent law firm with the expertise and staff to conduct a review of our priest personnel files going back to 1950,” Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann said in a lengthy column published Friday in The Leaven, the archdiocesan newspaper.

“Transparency is imperative with any substantiated allegations of sexual misconduct by any church leader, regardless if the victim is a minor or an adult.“

The archbishop’s announcement drew sharp criticism from survivors of priest sex abuse.

“The whole idea of an independent law firm investigation is problematic,” said Rebecca Randles, a Kansas City attorney who has represented hundreds of clergy sex abuse victims. “When push comes to shove, their client is the archdiocese.”

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