Former Priest Here Put on Leave

Springfield News-Sun [Ohio]
March 16, 2006

A former Springfield and Urbana Catholic priest was put on administrative leave Wednesday because he allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

Donald Shelander, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, denied accusations reported by an adult male in his 40s that Shelander, 69, allegedly inappropriately touched him while he was 14 to 18 years old, according to officials from the Archdiocese of Cincinnati.

Shelander was associate pastor of St. Mary Church in Urbana during the time of the alleged incidents.

Attempts to locate Shelander for comment were unsuccessful.

Results submitted

Results of an inquiry into the accusations by a private investigator have been submitted to the Archdiocese's Child Protection Review Board and legal authorities.

The leave, ordered by Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, is the strongest step a bishop can take on his own and forbids Shelander from celebrating sacraments, engaging in ministry or presenting himself as a priest.

The leave does not represent a presumption of guilt on the part of the Archdiocese but the allegation has been deemed to have some "semblance of truth," according to church officials.

The Archdiocese urges anyone who was abused as a child by a priest to report to legal authorities and the Victim Assistance Coordinator at (513) 421-3131 or (800) 686-2724.

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