Exonerated Priest Returned to Ministry

Archdiocese of Cincinnati
February 14, 2008

The Rev. Raymond Larger, who in 2005 was found by a Judge to be not guilty of criminal charges that he sexually abused a minor, has been reinstated as an active priest following a review of his case by the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

Fr. Larger will be given an assignment for priestly ministry at the Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in Cincinnati and will work at the Chancery of the Archdiocese.

"We are grateful to the Holy See for their interest in this matter, and we believe they have handled it thoughtfully and with justice," said the Most Rev. Daniel E. Pilarczyk, Archbishop of Cincinnati. "I believe in Fr. Larger's innocence and am thankful that the clearing of his name makes possible his return to a ministerial role."

Key events in the case are as follows:

* After the Archdiocese established a $3 million Claim Resolution Fund in 2003 for victims of child sexual abuse, a man filed a claim that Fr. Larger had abused him during the years 1995-1997. The independent Tribunal reviewing the claims consisted of Judges Ann Marie Tracey and Thomas Nurre and Attorney Robert Stachler. The Tribunal declined to compensate the accuser.

* As required by law, the Archdiocese turned over the complaint against Fr. Larger to the Hamilton County prosecutor's office. A Hamilton County grand jury indicted Fr. Larger on July 13, 2005 on six counts related to the abuse accusations. Because of the indictment, Archbishop Pilarczyk placed Fr. Larger on administrative leave, which meant that he was not permitted to exercise any of the functions of a priest. At that time and since, Fr. Larger has maintained that the abuse allegations were untrue and totally without basis in fact.

* On October 31, 2005, Judge Robert Ruehlman of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas found Fr. Larger not guilty of all charges, stating in court that the testimony he heard from the accuser was not credible. Archbishop Pilarczyk said in a news release that he accepted the verdict and that Fr. Larger's position in the Archdiocese would be addressed when a pending civil suit against Fr. Larger regarding the accusations was resolved.

* In July 2006, Judge Ralph Winkler of the Hamilton County Court of Common Pleas ruled in favor of Fr. Larger and the Archdiocese in that civil suit. The decision was appealed to the First District Court of Appeals in August 2006 and was unanimously reaffirmed by a three-judge panel in June 2007.

* In Fr. Larger's case, Church law was followed, and all allegations pertaining to the sexual abuse of minors were reported to civil authorities. The Child Protection Review Board of the Archdiocese was consulted. The case, in its entirety, was presented to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for full review and determination. The Congregation concluded that Fr. Larger is to be allowed to exercise his priestly ministry.

In accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and The Essential Norms of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati is committed to protecting children from sexual abuse, responding to allegations of sexual abuse of children, and restoring the good name of those falsely accused of sexual abuse. CONTACT:

Dan Andriacco

Director, Office of Communications

513/421-3131 After hours: 421-3144

FAX: 421-6225


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