Priest Placed on Leave

By Kimberly R. Simmons
Lima News
May 24, 2006

TOLEDO — Amidst allegations of sexual abuse that date back nearly 30 years, a Catholic priest has been barred from public ministry.

The Rev. Robert J. Yeager, 68, was placed on administrative leave of absence Tuesday by the Diocese of Toledo.

The Diocese, in a written statement, reported that the Diocesan Review Board regarded the allegations, which were made two years ago, as credible. The statement also reported that the case would be referred to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome in accordance with church law.

The Rev. Thomas Gorman, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Delphos said he knew Yeager when the two came to Delphos in the late 1950s.

"I've know Father Yeager for years, he's been a good friend and he's done good work for the diocese," he said.

When the allegations first came forward, Gorman said everyone was in shock.

"I hope things work out OK for him and that there's a good resolution for the matter," he said.

Gorman said the move from the diocese does not demonstrate Yeager's guilt or innocence, but it is normal procedure to remove a priest while an investigation is pending.

"Anytime there is an allegation that seems to have some substance or is believable, a chain of events automatically kicks in," he said.

Yeager worked as an assistant pastor pro tem at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Ottoville from June 1963 to January 1964. He also was the high school principal and assistant pastor at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church in Delphos from September 1965 to August 1967.

Yeager, who could not be reached for comment, retired from the diocese in 2005.


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