Accused Deacon Put on Leave
March 1, 2007
A deacon at Blessed Sacrament Church in Fort Mitchell has been placed on administrative leave pending investigation of a complaint that he sexually abused a minor.
The allegation against David Meyer "involves an incident that occurred some years ago, prior to Deacon Meyer's ordination in 1999," according to a statement issued by the Diocese of Covington.
The person making the allegation is now an adult.
Meyer has been at Blessed Sacrament Church since 2001.
In the Catholic tradition, deacons can administer the sacrament of baptism, preside at funerals, officiate at weddings, preach and teach, but they can't give absolution, anoint the sick or celebrate Mass. In modern times, deacons have been ordained from the ranks of the laity and typically hold jobs outside the church.
The diocese has reported the allegation to the Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney's office.
"Deacon Meyer understands the necessity for this action, maintains his innocence and has been fully cooperative," said Diocese of Covington Bishop Roger Foys.
"The fact that I have placed Deacon Meyer on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation reflects the seriousness with which the diocese and I take all such allegations. This measure is taken for the protection of the young people entrusted to our care and of the accused deacon."
But Foys added that administrative leave is "not punitive and implies no determination of guilt."
The bishop said he remains "committed to ensuring that serious allegations against ordained ministers in active ministry receive a thorough and impartial investigation and that the validity of the allegations be determined as expeditiously as possible."
Over the past three years, the Diocese of Covington has paid nearly $42.5 million to settle more than 300 claims of sexual abuse.
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