Substantiated cases of sexual abuse include multiple priests assigned to Shawnee Mission area parishes

Multiple priests named in the archdiocese report Friday served for a time at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Roeland Park.

The Catholic Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas today published a list of 22 priests who it says are credibly accused of sexual abuse against minors.

In a special issue of The Leaven, the archdioceses’ newspaper, Archbishop Joseph Naumann said the list was being released after an extensive investigation conducted by the law firm Husch Blackwell, whose Chicago office reviewed approximately 1,080 clergy files from the past 75 years.

The information included in the archdioceses’ report shows that 11 of the priests were assigned at one point or another to a parish in the Shawnee Mission area, and another was credibly accused of abuse during a visit to Roeland Park. The report does not indicate at which parishes specific incidences of abuse may have taken place.

Some of the priests implicated in sexual abuse served at St. Agnes in Roeland Park; St. Ann in Prairie Village; Queen of the Holy Rosary in Overland Park; Holy Cross in Overland Park; St. Joseph in Shawnee; Holy Trinity in Lenexa; and Good Shepherd in Shawnee.

In a column accompanying the publication of the names, Naumann apologized and said the church stood ready to assist victims:

“Each name on this list represents a grave human tragedy. Each name represents a betrayal of trust and violation of the innocent. The sexual abuse of children and youth by Catholic priests contradicts our church’s teaching on authentic love, the beauty of human sexuality and the dignity of the human person. What was done to victims by those who were called to be spiritual fathers is cause for great shame. On behalf of the church, I apologize to each victim and pledge our commitment to do all that we can to assist with your healing.”

The names of the priests who were assigned to Shawnee Mission area parishes at some time are below:

  • John Fiala (deceased). Abuse occurred during the mid-1980s but not within the archdiocese. Was assigned to St. Joseph parish in Shawnee at one time.
  • William Finnerty (deceased). Abused occurred in the early to mid-1960s. Assignments included Queen of the Holy Rosary in Overland Park and St. Agnes in Roeland Park.
  • James Forsythe. Abuse occurred around 1987. Assignments included St. Agnes and Holy Trinity in Lenexa.
  • Lawrence Ginzkey. Abuse occurred around 1985. Assignments included St. Ann in Prairie Village.
  • Dave Gottschalk. Estimated time of abuse is not listed. Assignments included Good Shepherd in Shawnee.
  • Martin Juarez. Abuse occurred in the early- to mid-1980s. Assignments included Holy Spirit in Overland Park and Queen of the Holy Rosary.
  • Marvin Justi. Abuse occurred around 1969 in Pennsylvania. Assignments included Good Shepherd.
  • Finian Meis (deceased). Abuse occurred between 1972 and 1979. Assignments included Good Shepherd.
  • Dennis Schmitz. Abuse occurred in the 1990s. Assignments included St. Ann, Queen of the Holy Rosary, St. Joseph in Shawnee, and Bishop Miege High School in Roeland Park.
  • John Henry Wisner. Abuse occurred between 1977 and 1984. Assignments included St. Joseph and St. Agnes.
  • Chuck Wolfe. Abuse occurred around 1976. Assignments included Good Shepherd.

Additionally, the list identifies John Brayley (deceased) as having been credibly accused of sexual abuse “while visiting friends in Roeland Park” in 1980.

The Leaven also identifies William Haegelin as having been involved in “previously publicized allegations not able to be substantiated.” He served at St. Agnes and St. Ann during his career, but was formally removed from the priesthood in 2004.