Reports of possible abuse in Catholic Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph increase

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - The number of people calling about possible abuse in the Catholic Diocese of Kansas City--St. Joseph is up.

The diocese actually says this could be a good sign because they believe more people are reporting the alleged crimes.

A 2011 scandal about Reverend Shawn Ratigan who was charged with the possession of child pornography was a springboard for a larger program.

That's when a sweeping anti-abuse training program launched.

It includes a point person, independent from the church, for people to call if they suspected any kind of abuse.

Last year, there were 79 reports. This year there were 107.

This does not mean all of the people involved are associated with the church. This just means that they know who to call.

"In my opinion the fact that I'm receiving more calls is actually an encouraging thing. It tells me that people understand what their responsibilities are and that they are willing to stand up and take that responsibility seriously," Jennifer Valenti, the independence ombudsman, said.

Valenti also said every alleged crime was reported to the police.

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