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Claim against Priest Dropped, Another Named
Joseph Ball First Contended Rev. Thomas P. Creagh Made Improper Comments but Now Accuses Rev. C. Patrick Creed


By Peter Smith
Courier-Journal
July 2, 2002

A local man has withdrawn a claim of misconduct against a Catholic priest and is now accusing a different, deceased priest with a similar name.

A lawsuit filed by Joseph A. Ball Jr. on May 23 originally accused the Rev. Thomas P. Creagh of making inappropriate comments when Ball went to him in confession, seeking help after allegedly being molested by another priest.

That incident was alleged to have occurred in the early 1950s - more than a decade before Creagh was ordained or allowed to hear confessions.

In an amended lawsuit filed June 20, Ball makes no mention of Creagh and instead accuses a different priest, the Rev. C. Patrick Creed, who died last year.

Claims made in filing a lawsuit give only one side of the case. Creed has not been mentioned in any other lawsuits, and Cecelia Price, spokeswoman for the Archdiocese of Louisville, says church officials have never received any abuserelated allegations against him.

Creagh has been accused in four other lawsuits of sexually abusing four boys in the early 1980s. He resigned as pastor of Holy Family Church in early May, after the first lawsuit accusing him was filed.

Attorney William McMurry, who represents Ball, has said naming Creagh in Ball's original suit was an error that resulted from confusion over similar names. Ball is a Jefferson County deputy sheriff, according to McMurry.

The suit is among nearly 150 that have been filed since April against the Archdiocese of Louisville over alleged sexual abuse by its priests and employees.

In both its original and amended versions, Ball's lawsuit alleges he was molested in the early 1950s by a camp counselor, Louis E. Miller, who went on to become a priest and now faces dozens of criminal and civil allegations of abuse.

Ball alleges that Miller abused him at Camp Tall Trees, a Catholic camp for boys at Otter Creek Park in Meade County.

The amended lawsuit says Creed was director of the camp and that Ball sought his help during confession.

The suit alleges Creed asked the boy during confession to describe what Miller allegedly did and whether he enjoyed it. It alleges Creed told Ball he forgave the boy for sinning and ordered him not to tell anyone about it. The lawsuit alleges that this left Ball "feeling responsible and guilty, further causing injuries and damages."

The original lawsuit made identical claims against Creagh. But Creagh did not become a priest until 1967.

Price said yesterday that Creed apparently worked at Camp Tall Trees in the 1950s, although the archdiocese does not have records on his work there.

In language mirroring the other lawsuits, Ball's complaint alleges that Creed and Miller "engaged in a pattern" of sexually abusing children and that archdiocesan officials knew about the alleged abuse and did nothing. The suit, however, does not offer evidence of such a pattern.

Miller has been accused of abusing boys and girls between the 1950s and 1980s in 59 lawsuits filed this year, as well as in a 42-count criminal indictment handed up by a Jefferson County grand jury June 26.

Some plaintiffs and their relatives have alleged that church officials were alerted about Miller over the years but kept him on the job. Miller was ordained in 1956 and retired this year.

 

 

 



 
 

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