Diocese Clears, Reinstates Priest Who Faced Abuse Claim

Associated Press, carried in Kansas City Star
December 8, 2006

Jefferson City, Mo. - The Catholic Diocese of Jefferson City has reinstated a small-town Roman Catholic priest who was accused of sexually abusing a minor more than 20 years ago.

The diocese conducted an eight-month investigation into claims against the Rev. Louis E. Dorn of St. Joseph Catholic Church in the northeast Missouri town of Louisiana.

Bishop John Gaydos said in a release that he reinstated Dorn "with complete confidence in the work of the Diocesan Review Board."

That board found allegations made by one individual about one incident to be unsubstantiated.

"The time certainly gave an opportunity for other possible victims to step forward," said Ron Vessell, the Diocese's interim chancellor and review administrator. "We heard from no one."

The release said it was the first accusation of sexual abuse by a minor made against the 60-year-old Dorn in his 34-year career as a Jefferson City priest. The accuser did not file a police report.

Dorn has been on administrative leave since March but resumed work on Friday.

"During the past months, I have heard dozens of Father Dorn's parishioners asking that he be returned to the parish," Gaydos said. "I am certain he will be greeted with open arms."


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