Kansas City, Mo., Jun 25, 2011 / 15:35 pm
Two weeks after announcing a series of reviews and changes to his diocese's abuse procedures, Kansas City-St. Joseph Bishop Robert W. Finn appointed Father Joseph Powers as his new Vicar for Clergy on June 22.
“With Father Powers assuming the duties of Vicar for Clergy, we strengthen our administrative oversight of the diocese and draw upon Father Powers’ pastoral experience in urban, rural and suburban parishes throughout the diocese,” Bishop Finn said in a statement announcing the appointment.
Fr. Powers, pastor of the Co-Cathedral of St. Joseph, will be the new liaison between diocesan priests and the bishop, in charge of coordinating priests' assignments and ensuring their pastoral effectiveness. He will also be responsible for handling any allegations of misconduct against local clergy, and will serve as a member of the review board advising the bishop on the status and future of accused priests.
The new vicar for clergy is taking over these responsibilities from Monsignor Robert Murphy, who will continue to serve as vicar general of the diocese. In his June 22 statement, Bishop Finn explained that Msgr. Murphy “will continue to have responsibility for general diocesan administration, directly supervising Chancery employees and serving on a number of diocesan boards and committees.”