Diocese Suspends 3 More Priests
Viall, McBride from Cleveland; Mueller of Wooster

By Joseph L. Wagner
Plain Dealer [Cleveland Ohio]
July 5, 2002

The Rev. James A. Viall, pastor of St. Rose of Lima church, was a conservative cleric who preferred to celebrate the Mass in Latin instead of English.

Viall's role in that tradition in the Detroit Avenue church has ended, at least for now, as the Cleveland Catholic Diocese yesterday suspended him and two other Northeast Ohio priests after charges of "misconduct with minors," said Robert Tayek, spokesman for the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.

The Rev. John Mueller, pastor of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Wooster, and the Rev. Daniel McBride, who retired in 1987, were also suspended.

"Each priest was asked to remove himself from his church residence and is not permitted to exercise any public acts of ministry," Tayek said.

The suspensions are not determinations of guilt, Tayek said. They are precautionary measures taken because of the claims, he said.

A total of 15 priests have been suspended here.

"The Diocese of Cleveland remains fully and unequivocally committed to protecting all of our children," Tayek said.

The cases will be forwarded to Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Bill Mason's office, he said.

Viall's suspension hit close to home for William M. Denihan, chairman of a 23-member diocesan commission reviewing policies on sexual abuse offenders.

Denihan resides in the St. Rose parish.

"[Viall] is a firm taskmaster and highly regarded as a man of God," said Denihan, who said he was unaware the pastor was involved in possible wrongdoing. "It surprises me every time a name is announced," Denihan said.

Viall was ordained in 1954 and served at six other parishes until 1974, when he was assigned to St. Rose of Lima, according to the Catholic Universe Bulletin.

Mueller was ordained in 1959 and was in seven other parishes before joining Immaculate Conception, the newspaper said.

McBride, ordained in 1951, retired in 1987 after serving as pastor of St. Ann in Cleveland Heights. He served in 11 other parishes and in the diocesan finance office, according to the newspaper.

A woman answering the phone at the St. Rose rectory said she would not comment. Viall could not be reached.


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