Survivors seek more info on abusive priests

Daily Tribune

July 24, 2019

By Pat Pratt

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests is calling for the addition of a previously unreported name to the Diocese of Jefferson City’s list of credibly accused priests, and the group is also asking the locations where those on the list served be made public.

Longtime SNAP leader and former national director David Clohessy spoke with reporters Wednesday outside Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Columbia and called on Bishop William Shawn McKnight to add previously unreported priest James Gummersbach, who worked in Rolla.

“Where do people go, they oftentimes go back to places where they lived and hang around with people who they once lived with,” Clohessy said. “It is conceivable that Father Gummersbach, even though he is originally from St. Louis, it is conceivable that once a year he comes back to Rolla and vacations or meets a devout Catholic family at the lake.”

Helen Osman, director of diocesan communications, wrote in an email response that the diocese will investigate SNAP’s claims Gummersbach served in Rolla, but there is no indication at this time he did.

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