Bishop Says Priest Admits Child Abuse Allegation
June 23, 2013
FORT WAYNE, Ind. (AP) — A northern Indiana priest has admitted to sexually abusing a child in Africa about 20 years ago, a bishop told the priest's former parishioners.
The Rev. Cornelius Ryan, when confronted June 10 by church officials, "immediately and freely admitted the allegations made," Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Catholic Diocese told members of St. Joseph Catholic Church-Hessen Cassel at Mass on Saturday evening, The Journal Gazette reported (http://bit.ly/1899hvB ).
A directory of Holy Cross priests says 76-year-old Ryan was based in Fort Portal, Uganda, from 1967 until 1999. He also served in Kenya before returning to the order's provincial house in South Bend in 2001.
Rhoades appointed Ryan the administrator of the Fort Wayne parish in December 2011 after his predecessor, the Rev. Thomas Lombardi, was removed because of a sexual abuse allegation. The abuse by Lombardi was alleged to have taken place at a previous parish.