Lexington Diocese releases lists of accused priests

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) — The Catholic Diocese of Lexington has released a list of priests accused of sexual abuse of minors.

The list, released Aug. 14., a day after the diocese received it, was compiled by attorneys who had unlimited access to the diocese’s priest personnel files and the files of any reports of abuse made to the diocese.

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The review team also conducted interviews, talked with the diocesan Victims’ Assistance Coordinator and met with the Diocesan Review Board.

“I, along with every priest in the Diocese of Lexington, am very sorry for what this report describes and apologize to every person who has ever been abused or injured in any way by one who was ordained to represent Christ,” wrote Lexington Bishop John Stowe, OFM Conv., in a letter accompanying the report, which he commissioned in December 2018.

The list, compiled by Lexington attorneys Allison Connelly and Andrew Sparks, is divided into categories of those with substantiated allegations against them — reasonable certainty that the allegation is true — and credible allegations — more likely true than not.

This report will soon be made available online. The full list of names can be found online now, along with a letter from Bishop Stowe.

The list also names those who served in the territory of the diocese but were listed by another diocese or religious congregation and one allegation that was found to be unsubstantiated.

Accusations against two priests in the Catholic Diocese of Lexington have been substantiated as having occurred in the time since the creation of the diocese in 1988.

The reviewers found that the majority of clergy sexual abuse of minors in the territory of the Catholic Diocese of Lexington took place before the diocese’s creation. The territory of the diocese previously fell within the Diocese of Covington and the Archdiocese of Louisville.

The reviewers will also issue a second part to the report, which will include a deeper analysis of the phenomenon of clergy sexual abuse of minors and will provide recommendations for response.

The Catholic Diocese of Lexington urges anyone who has experienced abuse in the Church to report it to the local authorities and to contact the diocesan Victims’ Assistance Coordinator, Laura Napora: (859) 338-5695 or victimsassistance@cdlex.org.