Alleged Sexual Abuse Prompts Removal of Fort Wayne Priest

The News-Sentinel
December 7, 2011

Roman Catholic Church officials have removed a Fort Wayne priest from his post because of allegations that he sexually abused a minor several years ago while at another parish.

The Catholic Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend withdrew the Rev. Thom Lombardi, pastor of the St. Joseph-Hessen Cassel parish, pending a church investigation, Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades said Tuesday in a letter to parishioners.

In the letter, Rhoades did not name the parish where the abuse allegedly took place or provide any details on an alleged victim. The allegations date to 1997, according to The News-Sentinel's partner WANE, NewsChannel 15.

Diocese officials conducted a preliminary investigation when they first learned of the alleged abuse, the letter said.

Rhoades said in the letter that the diocese encourages anyone who has been a victim or knows of sexual abuse by anyone in church service to come forward.

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