Surveys of parishioners (December 2019) and priests (March 2020) in the Diocese of Kansas City-St. Joseph have given voice to the pain caused to victims, their families, and friends, and to the broader community by clergy sexual abuse. The responses have laid important groundwork in the development of Journey to Bethany.

Parishioner Survey Results

Parishioners across four regions—urban, suburban, rural and St. Joseph – answered the 16-question online survey: 1,382 responses were received over a two-week timeframe last winter, most submitted within the first 24 hours.

The Findings

+ A clear call for church accountability, transparency and commitment to change indicates an important component of healing will be the church’s ability to demonstrably repent for past failures.

+ Awareness and understanding of any current care and support being provided by the Diocese is relatively low.

+ Counseling (individual and group), support from a victim advocate, and spiritual accompaniment are the most frequently selected services that should be provided for healing.


of respondents believe the diocese is somewhat or much more prepared to protect people from clergy sexual abuse than 10 years ago


would be willing to volunteer to support Journey to Bethany


of respondents are victims themselves or personally know someone who was impacted by clergy sexual abuse


of respondents say they would consider using healing services offered by Journey to Bethany

Priests Survey Results

Diocesan clergy received a separate survey:

The Findings

+ 40% are open to additional informative resources and the data suggests that many could benefit from a review of what’s available.

+ The majority of respondents were unsure about whether they would use Journey to Bethany healing services themselves, indicating they were uncomfortable with the idea of being a “secondary victim.”

+ Some feel they are scapegoated while Church leadership fails to apologize for its own failures or acknowledge what some perceive as the real issue—predatory homosexual misconduct.

+ Many priests are seeking an individualized approach to support and healing. They are craving opportunities to connect directly with Diocese leadership, to have their concerns and opinions heard, and to have open dialogue about issues around sexual abuse and other challenges.


of respondents believe the diocese is somewhat or much more prepared to protect people from clergy sexual abuse now than 10 years ago


of respondents feel prepared to assist victims of sexual abuse


of respondents report feeling distrusted as a result of the sexual abuse scandal


those who have been most recently ordained feel the least negatively judged