Catholic Diocese Reveals Sex-Abuse Accusation against Deceased Priest

News-Leader [Missouri]
December 19, 2006

The Catholic Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau announced today that in October it received an accusation of sexual abuse of a minor that occurred 40 years ago against one of its priests, Eugene Deragowski.

Law enforcement officials were informed of the accusation by the person who notified the diocese. The diocese informed the authorities that Deragowski died in 1981 and that there was no record of any other accusation against him.

The chancellor of the diocese, Monsignor Thomas Reidy, met with the complainant and, in doing so, respected his request for anonymity and confidentiality. Provisions of the diocesan policy on sexual abuse were implemented.

The complainant was offered counseling, which he did not take advantage of. He has not sought compensation.

Deragowski served the diocese at Sacred Heart parish in Bolivar, the Mission of St. William in Buffalo and St. Patrick in Greenfield, 1953-60; St. Mary parish in West Plains and the mission of St. William in Gainsville, 1960-65; Sts. Peter and Paul parish in Pulaskifield and the Mission of St. Edward at Cassville, 1965-77; St. John Vianney in Mountain View and the mission of St. Sylvester in Eminence, 1971-80; and as chaplain at Mercy Villa, 1980-81.

Bishop John Leibrecht, who heads the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau, and Monsignor Reidy said they have continued in communication with the complainant who indicates satisfaction with the procedures under which the diocese has addressed the matter.

The telephone number at the diocese is 866-0841.


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