Statement of the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City and St. Joseph

My Fox Kansas City
June 19, 2008

Earlier today, through media reports the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph has learned of two civil lawsuits filed in Jackson County Circuit Court alleging sexual abuse by former priests of the diocese - Thomas J. O'Brien, Thomas M. Reardon, and Stephen Wise. At this time, the diocese does not know the identity of the persons filing the suits and cannot comment on the substance of the complaints, which are reported to have occurred in the late 1970s.

Complaints alleging abuse by Thomas O'Brien and Thomas Reardon have received previous media attention.

Stephen Wise was ordained in 1979. Wise left the priesthood in 1986 and subsequently married.

The Diocese of Kansas City ~ St. Joseph has made known that it will respond to any allegation of abuse. When complaints arise, a team of lay professionals meet with the individual making the complaint to work for healing and reconciliation. Diocesan policies affirm full cooperation with the requirements of the law for reporting abuse and include lay involvement in responding to complaints and making recommendations to the bishop.


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