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Dodge City bishop steps away during abuse investigation

The Papal Conclave Day Two
Posted at 5:56 PM, Feb 08, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-08 18:56:23-05

DODGE CITY, Kan. — The bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City has stepped away from his duties after being accused of abusing a minor, the diocese announced Monday.

Bishop John Brungardt denies the allegations and will cooperate with the investigation, the diocese said.

The Kansas Bureau of Investigation recently notified the diocese of the accusation and will conduct the investigation.

Rev. Ted Stoecklein, spokesman for the Dodge City Diocese, said no further information would be released during the investigation

A KBI spokeswoman on Monday confirmed the agency is investigating the allegation. She said no arrests have been made and no charges have been filed but declined to release any other information.

In August, the KBI said it had received 205 reports of clergy sexual abuse and opened 120 cases since it began investigating the three Catholic dioceses in Kansas nearly two years ago,

Brungardt was installed as bishop in Dodge City in February 2011. Before that, he served in the Wichita diocese for 12 years in a variety of positions, including pastor at seven parishes, chaplain and religion teacher at Bishop Carroll Catholic High School, director of the diocesan office of Respect Life and Social Justice, moderator of the diocesan office of Hispanic ministry, and chancellor, according to his online biography.

Bishop Gerald Vinckle of the Salina Diocese has been appointed as the apostolic administrator of the Dodge City Diocese during the investigation.