Retired Priest, Accused of Child Abuse, Restored to Active Ministry

By Meredith Moss
Dayton Daily News
February 2, 2009

CINCINNATI — The Rev. Donald E. Shelander, a retired priest put on administrative leave in March 2006 by Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk as a result of child abuse allegations, has been restored to active ministry.

The restoration followed a church court ruling that Shelander, who once served in Springfield and Urbana, was not proven guilty of the allegations.

According to the Cincinnati Archdiocese, none of the three-member tribunal were priests of the Archdiocese.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican confirmed the tribunal's decision.

Fr. Shelander will not be given an assignment by the Cincinnati Archdiocese but is now "free to exercise his priestly ministry."

The allegations regarding inappropriate sexual behavior were said to have occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s, when Shelander was associate pastor of St. Mary Church in Urbana.

Area clergy said they were not familiar with the case.

Anyone who was abused as a child by a priest or any other representative of the Archdiocese, or knows someone who was, is asked to report the abuse immediately to the secular legal authorities and to the Archdiocese's victim assistance coordinator, Sister Mary Garke, at (513) 421-3131 or (800) 686-2724.

Contact this reporter at (937) 225-2440 or


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