Diocese of Amarillo Clarifies Graff's Departure

By Don Munsch
Amarillo Globe-News
October 9, 2002

The Diocese of Amarillo continued its attempts to explain discrepancies about the departure of the Rev. Edward R. Graff with a statement released late Monday.

Graff was arrested Friday and charged with one count of sexual assault of a child in connection with actions he allegedly took while serving at churches in Silverton, Quitaque, Turkey and Memphis.

The diocese had originally attributed Graff's resignation to the "Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People," which the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops passed at its meeting in June. The charter put into effect a "zero-tolerance" sexual abuse policy for priests.

Late Monday, the dioceses amended earlier statements and apologized for discrepancies.

"After this (original explanation that Graff resigned because of the charter) was reported, information came to be understood that in Father Graff's letter, he did not mention the charter or his conduct in the past, only that he was resigning because of age and health," the statement reads.

"Without any documented accusations or victims coming forward, the diocese was not able to continue reporting that Father Graff's case came under the charter. We are sorry for any discrepancies and misunderstandings this may have created."

Graff joined the Diocese of Amarillo in 1992 from the Diocese of Allentown, Pa., with the understanding that he had undergone treatment for problems related only to alcohol, according to a statement issued by Bishop John W. Yanta.

Graff served for 10 years as a priest before the Diocese of Amarillo found out about possible inappropriate conduct from the Diocese of Allentown.


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