Father O’Brien’s comments about the recent statement from the
Diocese of Tulsa & Eastern Oklahoma
Dear Parishioners of Saint Francis Xavier,
Copied below is a release from the Diocese of Tulsa about a priest of the Diocese of Tulsa, Father Joe Townsend, who has been accused of sexual abuse. He previously served as a pastor in Stillwater thus the reason for this outreach.
As noted in the release, “Father Joe Townsend is presumed innocent, he is fully cooperating with the investigation, and he denies all allegations of misconduct. A priest being placed on administrative leave is a prudential step in the procedures of addressing an allegation of sexual misconduct. It permits the Diocese to conduct an open, thorough, and fair investigation.”
I am asking that if anyone has knowledge of abuse of a minor, either in this case or by any other person affiliated with the Catholic Church, please first call the DHS statewide Abuse Hotline at (800)522-3511. They will direct you in further steps. I would also ask that you report it to local law enforcement.
To report knowledge of any abuse in this case, you should also call the Pastoral Response Hotline at (918)307-4970. If you are more comfortable reporting anything through me, you may call me at (405)372-6886 to begin the process of reporting abuse within the diocese. Please know that I am available to assist you in this.