Group Urges Warning on Priest

By Robert King
Indianapolis Star [Indiana]
January 31, 2006

A group that supports sex abuse victims says it will ask hundreds of priests in the Indianapolis archdiocese to warn their congregations about a priest now facing six abuse lawsuits.

The latest, filed Monday on behalf of anonymous plaintiff John Doe KW, alleges the Rev. Harry Monroe abused a teenage boy at St. Paul's parish in Tell City from 1983-84.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis and the parish were named as defendants, too.

The Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests says it will write priests this week to ask that they warn their flocks that Monroe, now 57 and believed to be living in Tennessee, could return to familiar places. The letter also asserts that Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein has done too little to warn those parishes.

Monroe served in Tell City, Terre Haute and three Indianapolis parishes -- St. Monica, St. Andrew the Apostle and St. Catherine.

Archdiocesan officials have said allegations of sexual misconduct by Monroe prompted him to be relieved of his ministry in 1984 -- eight years before Buechlein became archbishop. SNAP leaders were critical of Buechlein for using a lawyer as a first contact for victims.

But Buechlein has said Chancellor Suzanne L. Yakimchick, while a lawyer, does not represent the church in the abuse cases and has shown compassion for victims.

Archdiocesan spokesman Greg Otolski said notice of claims involving Monroe and information about how to report abuse were published in church bulletins, read at Mass and reported in the archdiocesan newspaper.

Otolski would not comment on the claims against Monroe, citing the pending litigation. An attorney representing Monroe could not be reached.


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