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Father Mark Porterfield placed on administrative leave

JEFFERSON CITY — The Diocese of Jefferson City has received an allegation of inappropriate behavior by Father Mark Porterfield, pastor of St. Martin Parish and judicial vicar for the diocese.

While the allegation does not involve a minor, it does fall within the protocol of the diocese for clergy conduct and requires further consultation and investigation. Father Porterfield is on administrative leave while the canonical investigation is underway. He is not allowed to function publicly as a priest while on administrative leave. As is normative for such a process, the diocese will not provide any further information on the matter during the investigation.

Father Chris Aubuchon has been appointed temporary pastoral administrator of St. Martin. Father Porterfield’s duties as judicial vicar have been re-assigned to various personnel, with Msgr. Gregory Higley continuing in the position of adjutant judicial vicar.  Annulment cases before the Tribunal will not be impacted.

As Bishop McKnight encouraged the person who reported this matter to the diocese to do, any person who believes that they have been the victim of misconduct involving a priest or deacon of the diocese is encouraged to contact appropriate law enforcement officials.

To report inappropriate behavior toward children or vulnerable adults, please contact the appropriate Missouri state hotline:

  • The Missouri Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1-800-392-0210
  • The Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline: 1-800-392-3738
  • Attorney General form to report clergy abuse: https://ago.mo.gov/other-resources/clergy-abuse-resources

In addition, the Diocese provides a victim assistance coordinator, a licensed professional counselor and a certified clinical trauma professional, Nancy Hoey, to assist people in reporting abuse or misconduct and in seeking support. She may be contacted at reportabuse@diojeffcity.org or 573-694-3199.

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