3 Priests Suspended on Allegations
Two Have Ties to Churches in Valley
By Tom Beyerlein
Dayton Daily News [Ohio]
March 10, 2005
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Cincinnati announced Wednesday that it has suspended three more priests — two of them with strong ties to the Dayton area — after an independent panel found substance in child sexual-abuse allegations against them.
Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk suspended David P. Vincent and Stanley Doerger, both of whom have served Miami Valley parishes, and Michael Paraniuk of Cincinnati after a tribunal decided that allegations involving them merited compensation of victims from a special fund.
Officials said the suspensions don't mean the priests are guilty. The three are the only active priests with plausible accusations against them, the tribunal decided, but all accusations have been reported to law enforcement, the archdiocese said.
"We believe this action is following the letter and the spirit of the very tough church law the U.S. Catholic Bishops approved in 2002," said Dan Andriacco, spokesman for the 19-county archdiocese serving 500,000 Catholics.
Their cases will now go to a review board that will recommend whether Pilarczyk should seek to have them defrocked under the bishops' zero-tolerance policy on child abuse, Andriacco said.
The suspensions, the strongest action Pilarczyk can take without Vatican approval, bring to 15 the number of area priests on administrative leave pending possible defrocking. Another priest was ordered by the Vatican to be, in effect, under permanent suspension.
Doerger, 71, most recently served in Cincinnati, but was pastor of St. Brigid Church in Xenia from 1984-97 and associate pastor of St. Patrick in Troy from 1980-82. In the early '80s, Doerger also researched the needs of the deaf in Dayton and the northern Miami Valley.
He was accused of abusing a female student in the 1970s at St. Rita School for the Deaf in Cincinnati, where he was a teacher. An outside investigator hired by the archdiocese didn't substantiate the allegation. Since 2003, former St. Rita's students have been calling for Doerger's ouster, alleging he physically, sexually and verbally abused as many as 275 female students.
Vincent, 66 and a Dayton native, was pastor of St. Denis Church in Versailles and Holy Family Church in nearby Frenchtown. He also has served in Dayton, Vandalia, Eaton, Xenia, Jamestown, South Charleston and Springfield.
He is listed on the archdiocesan Web site as north area chaplain for the Catholic Committee on Boy Scouting.
A man told the tribunal that Vincent abused him as a boy at Elder High School in or about 1970. Another man in March 2004 accused Vincent of abusing him in the 1980s. Vincent was serving in the Miami Valley in the 1980s, but Andriacco said he doesn't know which parish was involved. That incident was "reported to civil authorities," he said, but the accuser hasn't cooperated. The archdiocese has no record of the 1970 incident.
Last year, the Catholic Telegraph newspaper reported that Vincent was one of the area priests who volunteered to run a fingerprint machine as part of mandated background checks on archdiocesan priests and employees who work with children, a policy prompted by the clergy sex abuse crisis.
In 2002, Vincent defended another accused priest, Tom Hopp, with whom Vincent attended the seminary. Hopp also once served at St. Denis in Versailles.
"He (Hopp) did one thing wrong once," Vincent told the Dayton Daily News. "To me, that does not vitiate him — that does not destroy his goodness. I don't consider one incident, one fault, something to destroy a person's character for life."
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