Suspended Priest's Role Filled

By Cindy Schroeder
Cincinnati Enquirer
May 25, 2004

A newly ordained priest will replace one of two priests who was recently placed on administrative leave for alleged sexual misconduct.

The Rev. Phillip DeVous, who was ordained Saturday, has been named parochial vicar at Blessed Sacrament Church in Fort Mitchell effective July 1, said Tim Fitzgerald, spokesman for the Covington Diocese.

DeVous, 27, replaces the Rev. Mark Steidle, who was recently accused of sexually abusing a minor 10 years ago.

Diocesan officials are investigating the claim.

In a letter published Friday in the diocesan newspaper, The Messenger, Covington Bishop Roger Foys announced he had placed Steidle and the Rev. Gerald Reinersman, vicar general for the diocese and second-in-command behind the bishop, on administrative leave while they are investigated over allegations of sexually abusing minors.

Steidle is accused of inappropriately touching a minor in 1994 at Marydale Retreat Center.

Reinersman is accused of abusing a Lexington minor in 1979 while he was associate pastor of Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary Church.

Both men have denied the allegations.

Reinersman had an appointment pending to become pastor at a Covington parish on July 1.

That opening will be filled by another priest, Fitzgerald said. He did not name the parish.

"His not being able to take a parish at this time does not cause any Catholic in the Diocese of Covington a problem as far as the sacraments are concerned," Fitzgerald said. "No Catholic who wants to go to Communion will find himself or herself deprived of the opportunity."

The Rev. J. Michael Due and the Rev. Gilbert J. Rutz have been named vicars general and are handling Reinersman's duties.


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