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Tucson bishop responds to Oklahoma City Archdiocese abuse report

TUCSON — Bishop Edward Weisenburger of the Tucson Diocese has responded to a recent report involving clergy abuse in the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City.

Weisenburger served as Vicar General in Oklahoma City from 1998 to 2012, and helped investigate claims of misconduct.

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City received a letter from a former resident of Oklahoma regarding abuse by a priest in August of 2018, according to our Oklahoma City sister station, KFOR-TV. The church announced they would review and report all similar allegations.

The findings were published in a 77-page report by the law firm of McAfee & Taft earlier this month.

According to the report, a pastor once shared concerns about a clergy member with Weisenburger. Although no explicit allegation had been brought up yet, the report states Weisenburger did not report the concern to the Archdiocese at the time.

The report also noted that nearly all of Weisenburger’s emails were deleted after he left the Archdiocese, and concluded there were “inadequacies in the Archdiocese’s recordkeeping policies and systems that have resulted in the intentional or accidental deletion of records documenting or relating to allegations of sexual abuse of minors”.

The report also found “in some instances, a failure by the Archdiocese to take appropriate action when presented with credible allegations that its priests had sexually abused minors, including a failure to monitor certain priests of concern to the Archdiocese”.

Members of the Survivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) organized a small demonstration in downtown Tucson on Monday after reviewing the report, saying they found the findings troubling.

“Some of his past actions cause us to question if the community and parishioners are getting complete information,” said SNAP President, Tim Lennon.

Bishop Weisenburger joined the Diocese of Tucson in 2017. The Diocese was the first in the nation to create a public list of credibly accused clergy, according to officials.

News 4 Tucson reached out to the Diocese of Tucson in the wake of the Oklahoma City report’s release.

Bishop Weisenburger issued a statement that reads, in part: “The report reveals instances where protocols were not fully observed, or proper steps not always undertaken in response to allegations of misconduct. I deeply regret these procedural failings, errors in judgment, or any instances where a victim received less than an appropriate response from the Archdiocese.”

The full statement is listed below.

Weisenburger continued to say that the review did not indicate Archdiocese leadership violated any laws, and “there are no assertions that any procedural failures or errors in judgment resulted in any additional known victims.”

News 4 Tucson

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