Religion

Dodge City diocese names priests with allegations of sexual abuse against children

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The Catholic Diocese of Dodge City has released the names of priests and seminarians with substantiated allegations of sexual abuse of children.

The release Tuesday follows suit with the Catholic Diocese of Wichita, which about two weeks ago released the names of staff who had substantiated claims. Both follow a February announcement from the Kansas Bureau of Investigation that the agency, at the request of Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt, would assign six special agents to investigate reports of sexual abuse at four Catholic dioceses in Kansas.

The names will appear in the diocese’s Oct. 6 newspaper edition along with comments from Bishop John B. Brungardt and an explanation of how the substantiated allegations came to be.

“I apologize to victim survivors of child sexual abuse, especially those who were abused by priests and seminarians of the Catholic Diocese of Dodge City. You have suffered from this terrible sin. I beg your forgiveness. I pray our Lord Jesus will give His healing love to you and your families,” Brungardt wrote. “I pray for just punishment, remorse, and conversion of the perpetrators and concealers of sexual abuse. I thank law enforcement, attorneys, judges, health professionals and all who help victims of this heinous crime.

Brungardt also encouraged victims to contact law enforcement.

These are the priests who have substantiated allegations against them within the Diocese of Dodge City:

Donald Fiedler: Served in the diocese from September 1961 to January 1988 at several locations: St. Rose, Great Bend; St. Joan of Arc, Elkhart; St. Helen, Hugoton; St. Alphonsus, Satanta; St. Dominic, Garden City; Mary, Queen of Peace. Allegations from incidents in the mid-1980s. Removed as priest in 2007.

John Haberthier: Served in diocese from 1950 to 1973 at several locations: St. Rose Hospital, Great Bend; St. Theresa, Dighton; St. Michael, LaCrosse; St. Timothy, Satanta; Bob Wilson Hospital, Ulysses; Immaculate Heart of Mary, Windthorst; St. Patrick, Plains. Allegations in the Dodge City Diocese and the Pueblo Diocese in Colorado for incidents in the late 1960s to the mid-1970s. Deceased

Augustine Hanchak, CPPS: Served in the diocese from 1963 to 1965 at St. Mary, Garden City. Deceased

Cletus (“Jerry”) Stein: Served in the diocese from 1967 to 1972 and 1975 to 1987 in several locations: St. Joseph, Ellinwood; Sacred Heart, Pratt; St. John, Hoisington; Sacred Heart Cathedral, Dodge City; St. Rose, Great Bend; St. Joseph, Greensburg; St. George, Bucklin; St. Alphonsus, Satanta; St. Mary of the Plains College, Dodge City. No longer a priest

Edward Young: Served in the diocese from 1953 to 1970 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Dodge City; Sacred Heart, Pratt; St. John the Evangelist, Hoisington; Dominican Convent, Great Bend; St. Rose Hospital, Great Bend; St. Rose Parish, Great Bend; St. Helen, Hugoton; St. Timothy, Satanta. Allegations from the 1950s and 1960s. Deceased

Here are priests who served in the diocese but had allegations elsewhere:

Orestes Huerta: Served in the diocese from 1997 to 2000 at St. Mary, Garden City and Christ the King, Deerfield. Allegations in the Diocese of Boac in the Philippines. Currently priest in the Diocese of Boac.

Mario Islas: Served in the diocese from 1988 to 1994 at several locations: St. John the Baptist, Meade; St. Patrick, Plains; St. Anthony, Liberal; Christ the King, Deerfield; St. Mary, Garden City. Allegations occurred in the Diocese of El Paso. No longer a priest.

Richard Kolega, CPPS: Served in the diocese from 1973 to 1974 and 1986 to 1991 at several locations: St. Mary, Garden City; St. Anthony, Lakin; Christ the King, Deerfield; Our Lady of Guadalupe, Dodge City. Allegations from Diocese of San Angelo in Texas. Deceased.

Donald Straub: Served in diocese from 1990 to 1991 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Dodge City. Allegations come from Archdiocese of St. Louis. No longer a priest

Joseph Thiesen: Served in the diocese from 1988 to 1989 at the Dominican Convent and Central Kansas Medical Center in Great Bend. Allegations come from Archdiocese of New York. Deceased

Seminarians with allegations during their time in the diocese:

Heleodoro (“Leo”) de Hoyos: Allegation from Oklahoma in 1997 when he was a seminarian of the Diocese of Dodge City. Dismissed as a seminarian.

Joel McClure: Dismissed as a Diocese of Dodge City seminarian in August 2015. Pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of transportation of child pornography in March 2016.

The names were released after a four-month audit by retired Kansas District Court Judge Robert J. Schmisseur. The review included more than 600 files of diocese staff dating back to when the diocese started in 1951, according to an article released with the names.

It said the audit did not reveal any allegations of sexual misconduct that had not previously been made known to a diocese review board established in 1993.

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