Vatican investigates abuse allegations against Roeland Park priest John Wisner

ROELAND PARK, Kan. - The Archdiocese of Kansas City, Kan., has found credibility in an abuse claim waged against one of its own. The Vatican is now handling the investigation while Father John Wisner is on leave from his duties as priest.

A spokesperson for the archdiocese didn't know when they would hear back from the Vatican.

Wisner had been a priest for 40 years until he was stripped of his duties in May. He served at St. Agnes Parish in Roeland Park since 1985.

His history with the archdiocese before the mid-80's is unclear. A spokesperson said he served at Sacred Heart, Christ the King and St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee, Kan. She declined to give specifics about his service at each parish, saying the anonymity of the victims could be at risk.

A man in his 40s came forward and claimed Wisner had abused him 30 years ago this spring, according to a statement from the archdiocese. Local officials were immediately notified, and Wisner was removed from his duties as priest as an investigation ensued.

According to the statement, the archdiocese found credibility in that man's claims. During the course of the investigation, two other men in their 40s also came forward with abuse allegations against Wisner.

READ | Archdiocese statement on alleged abuse

The report was sent to the Vatican for final review and action.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivor's Network of Those Abused by Priests, said more needs to be done.

"We think Archbishop (Joseph) Nauman should do much more and personally visit the parishes where Father Wisner worked and beg victims and witnesses and whistleblowers to come forward and contact law enforcement so that he might be prosecuted and kept away from kids," he said.

Wisner also worked as a professor and psychiatrist for the University of Kansas Hospital. He retired in September.

"Dr. John Wisner retired from his faculty position and his position on the hospital medical staff in September 2012. There were no issues with his conduct or the quality of care he provided patients," the hospital said in a statement Monday.

According to the archdiocese, Wisner has denied the allegations since they first surfaced in May.

Anyone who suspects child abuse or is a victim should call their local police department or the Confidential Report Line at 913-647-3051.

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