Group accuses Salina diocese of withholding names of priests linked to abuse cases

MANHATTAN, Kan. A group working to raise awareness on the issue of clergy abuse accuses the Catholic Diocese of Salina of holding names of priests linked to cases of abuse.

Tuesday, the Survivors Newtork of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) organized protests across the state, including a small group gathered outside the Seven Dolors Catholic Church in Manhattan.

The group has a message for Bishop Gerald Vincke to come clean. In March, the Catholic Diocese of Salina said an investigation found 14 clergy members with "substantial allegations of abuse by a minor."

Vincke hired outside counsel to conduct that investigation and only released names of the 14 clergy members in the investigation.

Members with SNAP chose to gather at the church in Manhattan because they say two priests on the bishop's list worked there at one point. The group also says it found other priests, "credibly accuses" of abusing minors, and says the bishop's list should include these names.

Tuesday afternoon, the Catholic Diocese of Salina released a statement addressing SNAP's allegations that it omitted names of of priests credibly accused of abuse.

"SNAP alleges the Salina Diocese omitted the following names: diocesan priest Father Donald McCarthy, who died in 2017, and two priests from the Capuchin Province of St. Conrad, based in Denver: Capuchin Father Ronald Gilardi and Father Thaddeus Posey," the Catholic Diocese of Salina says. "The Capuchin Province released a list of substantiated allegations at the same time the Salina Diocese released its list. Both Father Gilardi and Father Posey were mentioned in the Capuchin list when it was released in March."

The Cathlic Diocese of Salina says it's cooperated with any agency involved with investigating abuse claims, including the Kansas Bureau of Investigation.

Full statement from Catholic Diocese of Salina

Today (Tuesday), the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) organized protests across the state of Kansas, including one in Manhattan. A statement dated Aug. 20 on the group’s website claims the Salina Diocese failed to include the names of three priests when the report of substantiated cases of clergy abuse of minors was released by the diocese in March.

SNAP alleges the Salina Diocese omitted the following names: diocesan priest Father Donald McCarthy, who died in 2017, and two priests from the Capuchin Province of St. Conrad, based in Denver: Capuchin Father Ronald Gilardi and Father Thaddeus Posey.

The Capuchin Province released a list of substantiated allegations at the same time the Salina Diocese released its list. Both Father Gilardi and Father Posey were mentioned in the Capuchin list when it was released in March.

The Salina Diocese has been cooperating with the Kansas Bureau of Investigations (KBI). The diocese fully cooperated with law enforcement when Father McCarthy was tried in court of law in Texas in 2007. The court did not find Father McCarthy guilty of the accusation. The Salina Diocesan Lay Review Board also reviewed the allegation from Texas. The Lay Review Board found the allegations to be not substantiated. Because the Lay Review Board was not able to substantiate the allegation, Father McCarthy’s name was not included on the list of credibly accused clergy.

The diocese provided the files of all allegations of clergy abuse, including the allegation against Father McCarthy to the KBI. If the KBI finds the allegation credible, they will turn it over to the prosecuting attorney in Texas, where the allegations were made.

The Lay Review Board of the Salina Diocese continues to evaluate allegations, and cooperate with the KBI as new allegations are made. When an allegation is proven to be substantiated, the diocese will add the name of the clergy member to its list, which can be found at: https://salinadiocese.org/home/clergy-abuse.

Any allegation of the abuse of a minor, may be reported to the Kansas Protection Report Center (1-800-922-5330), the KBI Crime Hotline (1-800-KSCRIME) or ClergyAbuse@kbi.ks.gov.