|Archdiocese Investigates Sexual Abuse Allegations
WJZ [Baltimore MD]
March 26, 2007
(WJZ) Baltimore — The Archdiocese of Baltimore is investigating two allegations of sexual abuse of a minor against Monsignor Richard E. Smith. Smith, 67, is pastor at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City.
The Archdiocese says the abuse occurred in the mid-late 1960s while Smith was a priest at Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help parish in Woodlawn. That parish has been known as St. Gabriel since 1997.
One woman alleges she had a series of sexual encounters over a course of months in 1967 when she was approximately 15-16 years old. Another woman has indicated that she and then-Father Smith had one inappropriate sexual interaction sometime in 1966 or 1967 when she was about 15.
The Archdiocese says Smith has admitted to some of the allegations and couldn't recall other details of his interactions with them.
The Archdiocese says Smith has been removed from ministry and his faculties to function as a priest have been removed. The Archdiocese's investigation continues. The Archdiocese says counseling assistance has been and will be offered to those affected.
Representatives of the Archdiocese met with parishioners and staff at Our Lady of Perpetual Help on Sunday afternoon to inform them of the allegations and to answer questions. The Archdiocese says it's providing pastoral care to both the parish and the school.
Smith was ordained a priest in 1966. In addition to serving at Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Woodlawn, he also served at St. Bernard in Baltimore, St. Mary in Cumberland, St. Mark in Fallston, St. Jane Frances de Chantal in Riviera Beach, St. Clare in Essex, Our Lady of Sorrows in Owensville, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton in Crofton and Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Ellicott City.
The Archdiocese has a number to report abuse by clergy or other church personnel. It is 1-866-417-7469.
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