A Letter from Archbishop
We Have Now Done
What Needed to Be Done'

Catholic Telegraph [Cincinnati OH]
Downloaded September 30, 2003

My dear sisters and brothers in the Lord,

The purpose of this letter is to bring our local church of Cincinnati up to date on the matter of child abuse by priests of the archdiocese.

First of all, please know that, as far as I am able to determine, there is now no priest active in ministry in this archdiocese who has ever sexually abused a minor.

You may remember that in March of 2002, when the question of sexual abuse by clerics began to be an urgent issue, I said in a public forum that, in accord with our stated and published policies, we had returned five abusive priests to ministry.

Our policies at that time called for priests who had been accused of abusive behavior to have their cases studied by a response team. If the accusations were substantiated, they were sent for therapy. In certain circumstances, with appropriate restrictions, they could be reassigned. This was in accord with the best psychological thinking of the time.

Now things have changed. Because of the norms that were drafted by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002 and subsequently approved by the Holy See, it is no longer possible for priests who have offended even one time to remain in good standing for priestly ministry in the United States. I supported these norms, and I will obey them.

In view of that, the five priests who had offended have now all been removed from priestly ministry. They have been placed on indefinite administrative leave. Their permanent removal from priestly ministry will take place according to the rules of canonical.


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