Catholic Church
7:26 pm
Thu August 9, 2012

Diocese Releases Abuse Report

The ombudsman for the people of the Kansas City-St. Joseph Catholic diocese to look into accusations of sexual abuse by clergy has released her first annual report.

Jennifer Valenti received 79 reports of suspected sexual abuse and boundary violations in her first year of duty.

Almost half of of the total of 79 incidents reported involved suspected abuse in the home, according to the article published in the Catholic Key on Thursday. But ombudsman Jennifer Valentii says she did uncover seven substantiated reports of church-related incidents of sexual abuse.

Valenti's report says five persons that were named as abusers and that all of them were removed from whatever type of service.

But Valenti emphasizes that they weren't all priests. Some were volunteers, she says, some members of religious orders. In cases where actual sexual abuse was suspected, she says law enforcement officials led any further investigation, but she, herself, looked into non-criminal cases of "boundary violations."

All but two of the reported incidents of suspected sexual abuse were from ten years or more in the past. And three of the offenders who were removed from their duties for confirmed sexual abuse are already deceased.

Four more persons involved with unconfirmed events were removed from their duties and two are currently suspended pending investigation.

Critics of the report said it should have included the names of the persons reported and should have made it clear whether any of the confirmed cases were discovered by the ombudsman as a result of her first year's efforts.

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