Local Bishop Is Investigated


Darbi Nash, Feature Writer/Reporter

Dodge City Catholic bishop, John B. Brungardt, is now under a Vatican-ordered a Vos estis (“The crimes of sexual abuse offend Our Lord, cause physical, psychological and spiritual damage to the victims and harm the community of the faithful” -The Pope) Investigation on February 8th, 2021 for an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor. Brungardt has been a priest since 1998, after having been a high school science teacher. Starting in the Diocese of Wichita, he was appointed the Bishop of Dodge City in 2010, then consecrated the following February. 

The Vatican subsequently ordered Brungardt’s metropolitan, Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas, to conduct a canonical preliminary investigation into the matter. According to the Diocese of Dodge City, Brungardt was notified of the Kansas Bureau of investigations’ accusation. He decided to step aside from his episcopal duties and informed Archbishop Naumann and is now cooperating with the KBI. According to the bureau, in August, 205 reports of clergy sex abuse had been reported, with 120 of those still open cases. 

On Feb. 9, the KBI confirmed that there is an investigation of the criminal allegation against the bishop and that no arrests or charges have been made. The Vatican investigation is being conducted in conformity with Pope Francis’ 2019 law on handling accusations of misconduct against bishops, Vos estis lux mundi, as well as St. John Paul ll’s motu proprio Sacramentorum sanctitatis tutela. The archdiocese said that Naumann will send his conclusions for the investigation to the Vatican “in the shortest time possible, taking into account that the State Investigation is still ongoing.” 

In the meantime, the Congregation for Bishops has appointed Bishop Gerald Vinke of Salina as apostolic administrator of the Diocese of Dodge City.