Local Priest Cheered for His Role As Whistleblower
Cincinnati Archdiocese under Investigation

By Julie O'Neil
WCPO [Cincinnati OH]
February 6, 2005

On Sunday survivors of priest sex abuse gave an emotional thank you to the local priest who publicly condemned the Archdiocese Cincinnati this week.

If you saw our 9News I-Team report, you know his actions were bold -- and on Sunday night, he got some bold support.

Dan Frendorf hasn't walked into a Roman Catholic church in two years, but someone inspired him to come to St. Ignatius of Loyola on Super Bowl night.

The presiding priest, Father Tom Bolte, stood up for priest sex abuse victims -- like him.

"Father Bolte has really shined a light in a dark place for us survivors," said Frendorf.

In an exclusive I-Team report this week, Father Bolte was reveled as a brave whistleblower.

He exposed the cover-up of former local priest David Kelly's years of alleged sexual abuse, saying he had warned the Archdiocese -- in writing -- yet Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk allowed Kelly to remain a priest.

"If criminal proceedings needed to occur it should have occurred," said the Reverend Tom Bolte, in a recent interview with the I-Team, "and to remove Father Kelly from ministry at that time.

"For coming forward, I can't tell you what a courageous act that is," said Christy Miller, also a survivor. "We want his parishioners to commend him for that."

Miller, who is with the Survivors Network of Those Abused By Priests (SNAP), and many others whose lives have been touched by abuse, came to the church Sunday night to encourage that support.

"We pray again for all of those who've been hurt in any ways whatsoever for physical, emotional, sexual abuse," said Father Bolte, as he stood before the congregation Sunday.

"We're called by Christ to constantly love, reach out and live that faith work together," said Bolte, "and God will bless us as we do so".

"He has decided to treat us with the same dignity that Jesus Christ would if he were walking the earth today," said Frendorf, "and we think, set into motion what will ultimately result in some changes in this Archdiocese.

The Catholic mass doesn't typically end in applause, but on this particular Super Bowl Sunday it did.

At the church on Sunday they passed out fliers asking people to write Archbishop Pilarcyzk and show their support for Father Bolte.

Father Bolte offered no comments Sunday night.


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