KANSAS CITY, Kan. - The Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas has temporarily relieved a Roeland Park priest of his "ministerial responsibilities and restricted (him) from exercising his priestly ministry" pending the results of an investigation into allegations of improper touching.
According to a statement from the archdiocese, the alleged victim, now 45 years old, says the priest inappropriately touched him during a youth outing in 1982, when the alleged victim was 15 years old.
The Diocese named the priest in the statement as Father John Wisner, who has served as a associate pastor at St. Agnes Parish in Roeland Park since 1985.
Ordained in 1972, Wisner has served at Sacred Heart and Christ the King Parishes in Kansas City, Kansas and at St. Joseph Parish in Shawnee, according to the archdiocese.
According to the statement, Wisner "acknowledges the time, location and circumstances surrounding the allegation, he denies that he engaged in any sexual misconduct."
It was not immediately clear in what fashion Wisner was serving at the time of the allegations and where the alleged inappropriate touching occurred.
"Archdiocesan policies place the protection of children as the first priority," the statement from the Diocese said. "Furthermore, the archdiocese respects the sincere concerns of all individuals who bring forth allegations of misconduct, and is thus committed to conducting a thorough investigation. However, it is important to remember that all accused persons should be presumed innocent unless evidence proves otherwise."
The archdiocese asks anyone who believes they have been sexually abused by any cleric, employee or volunteer of any archdiocesan parish, school or agency, regardless of when such abuse may have occurred, to contact the archdiocesan Safe Environment Coordinator at 913-647-6324, the Confidential Report Line at 913-647-3051, or to contact local law enforcement.
The Archbishop has appointed a special auditor with law enforcement and investigative experience to investigate the allegation.