Diocese Details Response to Accusations; Priest in Question Died in 1981
Diocese Details Response to Accusations; Priest in Question Died in 1981

By Murray Bishoff
Monett Times
December 20, 2006

A now deceased Catholic priest who once served at Sts. Peter and Paul Catholic Church in Pulaskifield has been accused of being involved in sexual abuse of a minor. Yesterday the Diocese of Springfield-Cape Girardeau issued a statement on the matter.

Father Eugene Deragowski, who died in 1981, served at Sts. Peter and Paul from 1965 to 1971. No accusations of misconduct were on record with the Diocese.

An accusation about the priest was submitted to the Diocese in October. 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 Diocese contacted law enforcement authorities, informing them of the accusation, the lack of any record of any other accusation, and of his death.

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

Father Deragowski had begun his pastoral service with the Springfield-Cape Girardeau diocese in 1953 in Bolivar. He subsequently served in Greenfield, West Plains, Gainesville, Mountain View, Eminence, and Springfield. While he was in Pulaskifield, he also was priest for St. Edward's in Cassville.


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