February 10, 2005

Diocese suspects ex-priest of abuse

The Kansas City Star

By DAVID A. LIEB The Associated Press

JEFFERSON CITY — The Roman Catholic Church acknowledged Tuesday that a former parish priest might have sexually abused at least a dozen boys over a couple of decades in several mid-Missouri parishes.

The Jefferson City Diocese said the Rev. John Degnan had been accused in 2001 — about the time he retired from parish ministry — of sexually abusing a boy in the 1960s.

“Additional allegations surfaced in 2002,” the diocese said in a statement issued Tuesday in response to media questions. “The investigation of this case by the diocese eventually suggested the probability of more victims … in the same locations.”

Although church officials have heard of 12 alleged victims, “our sense has been there are others out there,” said Sister Ethel Marie Biri, the diocesan chancellor.

Posted by kshaw at February 10, 2005 04:19 AM