Audio: Diocese of Jefferson City Bishop McKnight addresses reporters about Hawley investigation

Catholic Diocese

(Missourinet) – The Bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City says Missouri’s Attorney General has called to express his gratitude for voluntarily letting the AG’s office review diocese files about clergy abuse.

Bishop Shawn McKnight briefed reporters Friday afternoon and discussed the Pennsylvania grand jury report. McKnight is critical of previous church leaders.



The Bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City says Pope Francis and every bishop must address the clergy abuse issue immediately. Bishop Shawn McKnight tells reporters the “clergy sex abuse crisis is plaguing our church”, and he describes it as a “moral catastrophe:”



McKnight tells Missourinet the Mass of healing will take place this fall, adding that officials have not set a time or location yet. He’s urging anyone who knows of clergy who have abused to come forward to make a complaint. The Bishop also says Missouri Attorney General Josh Hawley has called him to express his gratitude, for McKnight’s request that Hawley reviews their files on clergy abuse.



McKnight is asking anyone with information about Fr. Pender to call (573) 694-3199. The Pennsylvania grand jury report says that more than 300 priests in that state sexually abused children for seven decades. Bishop McKnight describes sexual abuse of children as “a crime and a sin,” adding that the Diocese of Jefferson City has no tolerance for those who intentionally harm children.