2 Priests Restored, Others Permanently Removed

Press Release from Dan Andriacco
Archdiocese of Cincinnati
October 12, 2005

After a full and thorough investigation, Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk has returned Father David Vincent and Father Michael Paraniuk to active ministry.

He had placed the two priests on administrative leave in March 2005 after an independent tribunal awarded compensation to persons who had accused Father Vincent and Father Paraniuk of sexual abuse. The tribunal subsequently informed archdiocesan officials that it had based its awards primarily on information claimants provided. The tribunal further advised that payments did not suggest that it had determined there was sufficient proof to support a legal conclusion that any of the priests were guilty of an offense.

After completing investigations of allegations against Father Vincent and Father Paraniuk, the Archdiocese, according to Church law, presented both cases to the Archdiocesan Child Protection Review Board. As required by Church law, this panel is a confidential consultative body to Archbishop Pilarczyk. The role of the Review Board includes advising Archbishop Pilarczyk in the assessment of allegations of sexual abuse of minors and in the determination of suitability for ministry. Archbishop Pilarczyk considered the Board’s recommendations and carefully reviewed all available information before determining that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the abuse claims against Father Vincent and Father Paraniuk.

In separate actions, the Vatican has ruled in the cases of three other archdiocesan priests who had been on administrative leave because of child abuse allegations. The Vatican permanently removed Francis Massarella and Thomas Hopp from Church ministry. This means that they are prohibited from wearing clerical clothes, may not publicly present themselves as priests, and are obligated to lives of prayer and penance. Keith Albrecht was canonically dismissed from the clerical state and is therefore permanently removed from both the rights and the obligations of the priesthood. This constitutes the Church’s ultimate penalty in these matters and is commonly referred to as being defrocked.

The Archdiocese continues to urge anyone who was abused as a child by a priest or any other representative of the Archdiocese, or knows someone who was, to report the abuse immediately to the secular legal authorities and to the Archdiocese’s Victim Assistance Coordinator, Sister Mary Garke, at (513) 421-3131 or 1 (800) 686-2724.


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