Archbishop promises answers on sex abuse

March 19, 2002 at 1:16 PM
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CINCINNATI, March 19 (UPI) -- Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk Tuesday promised to answer a note from prosecutors demanding details of allegations church employees, including priests, have been accused of molesting children.

Last week, Pilarczyk acknowledged a "few" employees of the archdiocese had been accused of sexual abuse over the years. He said those who currently are still employed by the archdiocese have been given jobs in which they have no contact with children. The revelation was an attempt to assure the faithful abuse cases like those reported in Boston were not happening in the Queen City.

Pilarczyk revealed 20 archdiocesean employees had been accused of sexual abuse of teenagers in the past two decades and that fewer than five, including one priest, were currently employed by the church. All had undergone rehabilitation.

Pilarczyk has refused to identify the alleged abusers.

Prosecutor Mike Allen Monday wrote Pilarczyk, seeking details to determine whether criminal charges should be filed.

"We will give him an answer," archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco told the Cincinnati Post.

Allen's letter demanded "all records" associated with the allegations by the end of the week.

"People want to know if criminal offenses occurred and what was done about it," Allen told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "Was this swept under the rug? The questions we've asked are not unreasonable."

In Covington, Ky., the adjacent diocese, church officials Monday admitted three priests accused of sexual misconduct with teens still were working for the diocese. So far, Kentucky prosecutors have not yet moved to obtain church documents on the charges.

Allen said the church has a legal and moral obligation to open its records.

"For the life of me, I don't know why the archdiocese is resisting," said Allen, himself a Catholic. "What do they have to hide?"

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