Archbishop John J. Myers, who currently leads the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, N.J., said in the deposition -- unsealed Tuesday as part of a $1.35 million settlement -- he had no idea the Rev. Thomas Maloney posed a danger to children.
A woman told church officials in late 1994 or early 1995 Maloney molested her as a child. Four years later a couple claimed in a letter to the vicar general, second-in-command of the Peoria diocese, that Maloney had an explicit sexual conversation with their son, 13, during confession, the documents show.
Other people later came forward with sworn statements they, too, were abused by Maloney as children.
Maloney died in 2009 at age 73, still a priest in good standing.
"I did not have any suspicions (about Maloney)," Myers said in the deposition, taken in Newark in 2010.
Blaming a "slipshod filing system" in the bishop's office, he admitted "there may have been things that got by me."
Myers has come under criticism in Newark for his handling of priests accused of abusing children, the (Newark, N.J.) Star-Ledger reported Wednesday.
Andrew Ward, 25, was an altar boy in Normal, Ill., and allegedly abused by Maloney. Ward his family and their lawyer Tuesday called on Myers to release the names of all priests in the Newark archdiocese who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse, a move Myers has thus far refused.