JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A bishop from the Jefferson City Catholic Diocese agreed to cooperate with an investigation by the attorney general’s office into potential sexual abuse by priests.

Bishop Shawn McKnight said he sees the investigation as an opportunity to have a very credible report that the people and wider community can accept.

During the diocese’ own investigation of its records, a former Missouri priest was revealed in connection to the Pennsylvania Grand Jury report.

“We discovered Fr. John ‘Jack’ Pender, a deceased priest of the diocese of Scranton, who is listed in the Grand Jury report and who served in our diocese in the areas of Richland and St. Robert and Crocker during the decades of the 1970s and 80s,” McKnight said. “We ask anyone with information about Fr. Pender to come forward.

McKnight recommended that people contact Nancy Hoey, the diocese Victim Assistance Coordinator by calling (573) 694-3199 or emailing to report abuse.

He also referred people to the Missouri Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-3738, and the Missouri Adult Abuse and Neglect Hotline at (800) 392-0210, as well as the attorney general online reporting form located here.