Abuse allegations against KCK priest found ‘unsubstantiated’ after independent review

Kansas City Star [Kansas City MO]

May 4, 2022

By Bill Lukitsch

A Lawrence-based priest who was suspended last month by the Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kansas, following sexual misconduct allegations has been “cleared” through an independent investigation, the church officials said Friday.

In a statement Wednesday, the Denver-based Capuchin Franciscans Province of Mid-America said that an outside investigator was hired by the church to review allegations brought against Father Michael Scully. The investigator and the province’s independent review board found that the claims against Scully were unsubstantiated.

“When an allegation of sexual abuse is brought to our attention, we recognize the pain experienced by the victims and their families, the accused, the entire Church community, and our own community of brothers,” the statement read. “We continue to hold in our prayers all those involved in this case.”

Scully, who most recently worked at Haskell Indian Nations University’s Catholic Camps Center in Lawrence, was accused of sexual misconduct involving a minor. Scully denied the accusations and cooperated with the investigation, according to the archdiocese of KCK. The archdiocese was notified of the allegation Feb. 28.

The accusation stemmed from Scully’s ministry “outside the archdiocese,” according to a church statement published in March 25’s issue of The Leaven, the archdiocese’s official newspaper.

During his time in the archdiocese, Scully has also served at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Lawrence and Holy Family Parish in Eudora.

In a news release Monday, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests urged Catholic officials in Kansas and Colorado, where Scully previously worked, to publicly seek information from anyone with information about the priest. The group said Scully also worked in Hays at Thomas More Prep-Marian and St Joseph’s Catholic Church.

In October, Kansas lawmakers were told that the Kansas Bureau of Investigation had opened 122 cases relating to clergy sexual abuse in the state’s Catholic dioceses since it launched an investigation in November 2018. The Star’s Luke Nozicka contributed to this report.