“Today, there can be no more secrets in our diocese. We can only be a holy people, a people who are better together, if we have confidence in our priests and if you trust me as your shepherd.” — Bishop W. Shawn McKnight
Preventing sexual abuse
We are preventing sexual abuse in four primary ways:
Every person who works or volunteers for the Church in a setting with children must undergo a background check and receive training on safe environment. This means nearly 18,000 people in our diocese know the warning signs of predatory behavior, know the Diocese’s code of conduct and know how to report suspicious activity of anyone who might want to harm children.
If you or someone you know has been abused or victimized by someone representing the Catholic Church, believe in the possibility for hope, help and healing. Please contact our Victim Assistance Coordinator, Nancy Hoey, at 573-694-3199 or email@example.com. Also contact the Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Hotline at 1-800-392-3738 or the Missouri Adult Abuse & Neglect Hotline at 1-800-392-0210.
Every allegation of abuse by someone representing the Catholic Church, whether it concerns a minor or an adult, is reviewed by an independent group of professionals. The bishop has used a confidential consultative body, or Review Board, since 1991. The bishop relies on their recommendations to determine how to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct or abuse.
Every candidate for the priesthood and diaconate undergoes a thorough investigation and formation. Seminarians and diaconal candidates for the Diocese of Jefferson City are required to undergo psychological screening, receive safe environment training and criminal record checks, and receive formation in psychosexual development.
Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service
The Catholic Bishop Abuse Reporting Service has been established to receive reports of sexual abuse and related misconduct by bishops, and to relay those reports to proper Church authorities for investigation. Where a report includes a crime, such as the sexual abuse of a minor, it will also be reported to civil authorities. Otherwise, reports will be kept confidential.
If you have any other kind of complaint about a bishop—such as parish assignments, church closings, or homily contents—please address those directly to your diocesan or eparchial bishop instead. Sexual abuse by a priest, deacon or a staff member or volunteer of the Church should be reported to the Victim Assistance Coordinator in your local diocese/eparchy.
So, to be sure you get the help you need, call 800-276-1562 or visit ReportBishopAbuse.org.
If you are the victim of sexual abuse (or any other crime), please contact local law enforcement.
If you or someone you know has been abused or victimized by someone representing the Catholic Church, believe in the possibility for Hope, Help and Healing. Please contact:
- The Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1.800.392.3738
- The Missouri Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline: 1.800.392.0210
- Your local civil authorities
- Diocese of Jefferson City Victim assistance coordinator: Nancy Hoey at 573.694.3199
Visit the State of Missouri for information regarding reporting Child Abuse and Neglect.
List of credibly accused clergy
A list of clergy and religious brothers who have served in the Diocese of Jefferson City and who have been credibly accused of actions which were in violation of the Charter for The Protection of Children and Young People (“Charter”), or which would have constituted a violation of the Charter if the Charter had been in effect, was first published on Nov. 8, 2018.
The list has been updated on Dec. 16, 2018, Aug. 1, 2019, and July 2, 2020.
What our leaders are saying
"Taking a child he placed it in their midst, and putting his arms around it he said to them, whoever receives one child such as this in my name, receives me; and whoever receives me, receives not me but the One who sent me.”
“Families need to know that the Church is making every effort to protect their children. They should also know that they have every right to turn to the Church with full confidence, for it is a safe and secure home.”
Pope Francis, Homily at Mass with Victims of Abuse, July 7, 2014
“In 2002, the bishops of the United States approved the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. [Since that time] there has been striking improvement in the Church’s response to and treatment of victims…Children are safer now because of the creation of safe environments, and action has been taken to permanently remove offenders from ministry. Yet much work still needs to be done.”
USCCB National Review Board
“Let there be no doubt or confusion on anyone’s part: For us, your bishops, our obligation to protect children and young people and to prevent sexual abuse flows from the mission and example given to us by Jesus Christ himself, in whose name we serve.”