Kansas priest defrocked after abuse allegations

KANSAS CITY, Kan.— A Kansas priest has been revoked of his rank years after an investigation into multiple child sexual abuse allegations against him.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann issued a decree in December removing the Rev. John Wisner from the clergy.

The decree was announced May 25 after the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith affirmed it earlier this year, the Kansas City Star reported .

Naumann immediately suspended Wisner from active ministry in May 2012 after a sexual misconduct complaint from a 45-year-old man, according to the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas.

The man alleged Wisner inappropriately touched him in 1982 on a youth outing when he was 15.

The archdiocese later received two more similar allegations from men in their 40s.

An internal investigation found the allegations credible and officials sent information to the Vatican in November 2012, according to the archdiocese.

Wisner has denied the allegations, according to the archdiocese.

He didn’t immediately respond to the newspaper’s request for comment Wednesday.

The archdiocese said it notified law enforcement, but Wisner was never criminally charged in relation to the allegations.

Wisner was ordained in 1972, serving as an associate pastor at St. Agnes Parish in Roeland Park and working at parishes in Shawnee and Kansas City, Kan.

A medical doctor, Wisner also taught at the University of Kansas School of Medicine until he retired in 2012, according to the school.

A victims’ advocate group criticized the archdiocese on Wednesday for taking so long to announce Wisner’s defrocking.

“While we are glad that this former priest has been removed from ministry, we are disappointed that the resolution of this case was kept virtually secret,” said Melanie Sakoda, secretary of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests. “The survivors who came forward at great personal cost deserve to be validated publicly.”

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