Saturday, September 27, 2003

Bishop backs diocese report

He says no priests in Covington guilty

By Cindy Schroeder
The Cincinnati Enquirer

ERLANGER - In an open letter to Northern Kentucky Catholics on Friday, Bishop Roger Foys said the Diocese of Covington stands by its Aug. 29 report on the history of sexual abuse of minors in the diocese.

The letter in Friday's edition of The Messenger, the official diocesan newspaper, said that church officials "stand by the accuracy, honesty and integrity of (their) report."

"The report reveals the extent of sexual abuse of minors in our diocese in the course of the last 50 years as known to us," Foys wrote. "We are doing all we can to ensure that sexual abuse of minors by priests and employees of the diocese does not occur again."

The 16-page report sent last month to Catholic households in the 14-county Diocese of Covington said the diocese has received 158 credible allegations against 30 of 372 priests during the past 50 years.

After reviewing the church files, Cincinnati lawyer Stan Chesley claimed there were likely 500 to 1,000 people abused by priests in the Covington Diocese during the past 50 years. Chesley will have a chance to make his suit - outlining 50 years of alleged abuse by priests and cover-ups by church officials - a class action in a hearing set for Wednesday.

On Sept. 19, church officials placed a priest and a teacher on leave of absence after Chesley said the diocese spent more than 20 years concealing claims the men sexually abused teen-agers.

Church officials in the Lexington Diocese removed the Rev. Stephen Gallenstein from Frankfort's only Catholic parish after learning of the allegations from a reporter.

Officials in the Covington Diocese suspended Covington Latin teacher Paul Arbogast after court papers filed last week in Boone County accused him of molesting boys in the 1970s."With regard to the priests who became part of the Lexington Diocese when that diocese was formed, those complete and original files were given to the Lexington Diocese in 1989,'' Foys wrote. "Furthermore, our very thorough search of all diocesan priests' files turned up nothing regarding either of the two men now accused of sexual abuse of minors. I assure you once again that, to the best of our knowledge, there is no priest in public ministry in the Diocese of Covington who has abused a minor.''


Overnight storm causes heavy damage in Warren Co.
Rape victim jailed; accused freed
Injured athlete voted homecoming king
Strikers ready for long haul
2 families get $3.1M for claims

Brand new on the menu: freshly painted Big Mac
Catholic schools scramble to reverse slide
'Survivor' sags in Cincinnati
Let's all talk about education
Catholic teachers mostly disagree with Ky. firing
School to open new building
Tests show bacteria in Loveland school water
27 home sick after ruling on overtime
School reunion unites West Side
Regional Report

Bronson: Letting the homeless be squatters is inhumane
Howard: Good Things Happening
Faith matters: Families fight death penalty
McNutt: Marker dedication gives Black Brigade limelight

Crunch time near for Apple Festival
Cities to debate mall aid
Fernald projects shut down
Warren college director picks awaited

Richard Langenbeck, 80, was retired lawyer
Librarian Althea Lazenby found adventure in India
Kentucky obituaries

ACLU sues over executions
Ohio's grid recorded at least 64 glitches
Cemetery offers free burial plot
State fair director resigns under fire
4 teens critical from bad weed
Bush leads all comers in Ohio
Pipeline project fined for violations
Pfeifer wins GOP nod - and nays
Workers hustle, boy gets heart
Ohio Moments

Fletcher health-care plan pushes Rx reform
Kentucky News Briefs
Governor debate at NKU
Do you know this donkey? He's lost and needs a home
Bishop backs diocese report
New school lunch program: Staff visits parents' homes
Lexington smoking ban halted
Kentucky To Go