BishopAccountability.org
 
  Priest Replies to Rape Charge
Church Should Take Case of Woman Who Claims Abuse in 1970s, Accused Cleric Says

By Vic Ryckaert
Indianapolis Star
July 31, 2003

A Roman Catholic priest has responded to a lawsuit alleging he sexually assaulted a child about 30 years ago.

In documents filed Tuesday in Marion Superior Court, the Rev. Germain Belen argues, among his defenses, that too much time has passed and the matter should be handled by the church rather than the state.

The filing came in response to a California woman's lawsuit saying he molested her in a Terre Haute church and several other locations.

At the time of the alleged attacks, Belen was the pastor of St. Benedict Catholic Church in Terre Haute. The parish is part of the Indianapolis Archdiocese.

Gretchen Mayerhofer alleges that Belen raped her in the 1970s, when she was 5 to 10 years old. She said her life struggles — including failed relationships, eating disorders and other emotional problems — were caused by Belen's abuse.

Lawyers for Belen and Mayerhofer could not be reached for comment.

Other defendants named in the lawsuit are the Franciscan Order province to which Belen belongs — the Province of Our Lady of Consolation — and the head of the province, the Rev. Peter Damian Massengill.

Mayerhofer remains active in the Catholic faith and serves on an outreach committee for victims of sexual abuse in the Sacramento, Calif., diocese.

Mayerhofer described her struggles in a poem published in the Jan. 21 edition of The Valley Catholic, a newspaper published by the San Jose diocese.

Belen was pastor of St. Benedict from September 1968 to February 1976, according to a church spokesman.

Church officials said Belen, now 82, retired in 2001 after suffering a stroke. He now lives in the infirmary of the Franciscan friary in Mount St. Francis, a southern Indiana community near New Albany.

 
 

Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.
     
guide of business management sytem guide of job opinions guide of capital goods guide of make fast money guide of Debt restructuring guide of home business guide of income money guide of hospital products guide of international market guide of repair roof before winter guide of website income guide of secure your business guide of face makeup tools guide of jewellery arts guide of tv shows guide of best places on earth guide of job plans guide of cheap cars guide of creating products guide of women tools guide of eat less guide of car insurance process guide of sport stuff guide of garden home guide of cheap insurances guide of electronic tech guide of healthy feeding guide of what is next in fashion guide of improve company guide of tactical insurance guide of make money at home guide of development in business guide of dept loan guide of cooking secrets guide of correct companies guide of jobs with more income guide of reviews o general products guide of improving technology guide of ideal job guide of business sectors guide of dept problem guide of unlimited business guide of suitable insurance company guide of money cars guide of how to market guide of heatlhy diet tips guide of decoration tipse guide of security problems