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Church in Crisis
Bishop J. Kendrick Williams

Louisville Courier-Journal
September 29, 2002

http://www.courier-journal.com/cjextra/2002projects/priestabuse/stories/williams_ourlady.html

[See the main page of this special section on the Church in Crisis.]

The founding bishop for the Diocese of Lexington, J. Kendrick Williams resigned after three lawsuits were filed in Jefferson Circuit Court containing allegations of abuse by Williams when he was a priest in the Archdiocese of Louisville. Williams also is named as an abuser in a case filed in Kenton Circuit Court against the Diocese of Covington, where Williams served as an auxiliary bishop before the creation of the Lexington Diocese. Williams, who became the Lexington bishop in 1988, has denied abusing anyone but said his resignation would assist him and the diocese in resolving "the cloud which hangs over it and me at this time." Williams was ordained in 1963 and served in the Louisville Archdiocese until his appointment in Covington in 1984.

CHURCH OF OUR LADY

PLAINTIFF: James W. Bennett
AGE: 34
ADDRESS: Louisville
OCCUPATION: Pizza delivery
FILED SUIT: May 21
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1981, Church of Our Lady altar-boy room.
ACCUSATION: Fondling, kissing
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Bennett said he about 12 years old and an altar boy when Williams fondled and kissed him after Mass.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? Bennett said that he told his parents and that his father told him he could stop serving at Masses.
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "I can't tell (Williams) what to remember, but I know what I remember. . . . If nothing becomes of it, that's fine. He's out. He's exposed."


ST. CATHERINE HIGH SCHOOL

PLAINTIFF: David Hall
AGE: 51
ADDRESS: New Haven, Ky.
OCCUPATION: Disabled veteran
FILED SUIT: May 31
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: 1969, confessional while Williams was assigned to St. Catherine High School
ACCUSATION: Fondling, verbal abuse
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Hall said Williams would hug him, hold hands and rub his leg when Hall went to face-to-face confession as a student at St. Catherine. The priest would ask details about his relationships with girls or about masturbation. Hall said that once when he mentioned that he was worried about his ability to satisfy a girl, Williams had him unzip his pants and fondled him.
WAS ANYONE TOLD? No
IN THE PLAINTIFF'S WORDS: "You trust them and you go ahead and do it. The next thing I know, he's got hold of me. That was the last time I've ever been to confession in my life."


HOLY TRINITY

PLAINTIFF: Thomas C. Probus (could not be reached for interview)
AGE: 33
FILED SUIT: June 7
DEFENDANT: Archdiocese of Louisville
DATE AND LOCATION OF ALLEGED ABUSE: About 1981 in parish, school and hospital. Lawsuit gives location at Holy Trinity parish, although Williams' resume says he wasn't there until 1983.
ACCUSATION: Emotional abuse.
DETAILS OF ALLEGATION: Probus said he sought advice for problems at home from Williams. The priest asked him about masturbation, told him it was a wonderful experience and told Probus to tell him if he ever did it.

 
 

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