Vatican Promoted U.S. Priest Despite Warnings of Abuse

Chicago Sun-Times [Dallas TX]
September 1, 2003

DALLAS--The Vatican promoted a U.S. Roman Catholic priest through its diplomatic corps despite warnings he had molested a girl in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, according to a newspaper report.

A spokeswoman for the archdiocese, Tricia Hempel, told the Dallas Morning News that the Vatican knew of the allegations against the diplomat, Monsignor Daniel Pater. Pater had acknowledged molesting the girl when he was confronted about a decade ago, she said.

"The Vatican knew the status of the case," Hempel said.

Pater had settled a lawsuit in 1995 that the woman had brought alleging he repeatedly abused her in the 1980s.

In addition, the Rev. Lawrence Breslin, a pastor of the church where the abuse began, told the News he had spoken twice about Pater's past to Bishop James M. Harvey, a longtime Vatican state department executive who now heads the pope's personal staff.

Pater recently resigned from his post as the church's second-highest-ranking diplomat in India.

In an interview with the newspaper, Pater said, "I'm very sorry for what happened. I can't do anything about that now. I don't want to keep anybody in any discomfort or embarrassment."

Asked if he resigned in response to the abuse case, he said, "It's just--considering what's been going on."

The Vatican's offices are closed on Sunday, and officials at the Vatican congregations which deal with clergy sex abuse cases could not immediately be reached for comment. AP


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