Evansville Bishop Reports Abuse Cases

Indianapolis Star [Indiana]
December 18, 2003

Evansville Bishop Gerald A. Gettelfinger disclosed today that 22 persons have alleged sexual abuse at the hands of 15 priests of the diocese over nearly 60 years, and that four of the priests have been removed from ministry.

Seven of the priests were accused of sexually abusing minors.

Of the 15 priests, eight already were dead when abuse charges were brought against them. Three were found innocent of the allegations against them, Gettelfinger said.

The cases have cost the Evansville Diocese $264,080 in legal fees, counseling and other costs, Gettelfinger said.

Gettelfinger's report comes one week after Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop John M. D'Arcy held news conferences to disclose that 16 priests in that diocese had sexually abused 33 children since 1950. Since 1985, the abuse has cost the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese and its insurers $1.36 million, with nearly half going to victims.

The data is part of a national report on the scope of the sexual abuse crisis in the church since 1950. Similar data are expected to be released in the coming weeks for the Indianapolis archdiocese and the Lafayette diocese.


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