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  Former Paris Priest Tells Parishioners of Alleged Sexual Abuse

Associated Press
June 4, 2004

A retired priest in the Archdiocese of Milwaukee has written a letter to former parishioners in Paris telling them he has been accused of sexual abuse of minors.

The Rev. Eugene T. Kreuzer, who served as priest at St. John the Baptist Church in Paris from 1971 to 1993, wrote that the alleged abuse occurred 30 years ago while he served at another parish.

"I express remorse and repent of these actions. However, for the good of the community I have decided that my continued presence at the parish is not helpful," Kreuzer wrote.

Kreuzer has attended Mass and greeted parishioners at St. John the Baptist since his retirement.

The current pastor, the Rev. Jim Volkert, said Thursday that there were no allegations of abuse while Kreuzer served in Paris.

"As far as I know, no one has come forward," Volkert said.

The Kenosha News reported that Catholic diocesan directory records show the only other church Kreuzer served at after his ordination in 1952 was St. Anthony in Milwaukee, where he began his ministry as an assistant the same year.

After parishioners started questioning Kreuzer's absence at Mass in the last few weeks, the vicar of clergy for the Archdiocese of Milwaukee forwarded Volkert a letter written by Kreuzer to be published in the church bulletin.

Kreuzer said in his letter that restrictions have been placed upon him.

"I do not exercise any ministry and am living out my life in a spirit of prayer and penance," his letter said. "This is a strong and loving parish community and I know you will respond to this announcement in the manner that is most appropriate, by praying for all those involved, especially for all victims of violence and abuse."

Barbara Anne Cusack, the archdiocese's chancellor, did not immediately return a call Friday from The Associated Press seeking comment.

Church officials at St. Anthony said Thursday they had not yet been informed of the alleged abuse.

"This is sad news," said Terry Brown, executive director of the church. "We will need to make this known to the parish."

 
 

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