Diocese Puts Church Pastor on Leave

By Kevin Eigelbach
The Kentucky Post
January 13, 2006

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington has placed the pastor of two local churches on administrative leave because of an allegation of sexual abuse.

The Rev. Richard Frazier is pastor of St. Bernard in Dayton and Divine Mercy in Bellevue.

According to a letter Bishop Roger Foys published today in the diocesan newspaper, the Messenger, Frazier has denied having any sexual contact with minors either before or after his ordination. He did not return a message left Thursday evening at Divine Mercy.

Foys told the congregations last weekend that he had placed Frazier on administrative leave, diocesan spokesman Tim Fitzgerald said. The bishop did not provide any specifics of the alleged abuse, except to say that it would have happened in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

The accusers, all of them adults now, have no connection with either of the parishes or their schools. They came forward as part of the settlement of a class-action lawsuit against the diocese pending in Boone Circuit Court.

Potential members of the class - anyone sexually abused by a priest or diocesan staff member in the past 50 years - were required to submit forms providing information about their alleged abuse. Some of the forms contained allegations about Frazier.

Campbell Commonwealth's Attorney Jack Porter said he had not received notification of the investigation from the diocese as of Thursday, so he didn't know the details of the allegations.

If the charges against Frazier involve felonies, they could still be prosecuted. However, there could be problems with prosecuting a case that old, Porter said.

Frazier was ordained in May 1996.

He served as parochial vicar of St. Thomas Church in Fort Thomas from July 1996 through July 1998. From July 1998 through July 2001, he was parochial vicar for St. Joseph Church in Cold Spring. Named pastor of St. Edward Church in Cynthiana, he was assigned in July 2004 to the Bellevue and Dayton parishes.

He also was chaplain at Newport Central Catholic High School from July 1997 through July 1999 and at Bishop Brossart High School in Alexandria from August 1999 through July 2000.

Foys said Frazier would remain on leave until the allegations can be investigated.


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