LOUISVILLE, Ky., Jan. 31 (UPI) -- A new bishop's appointment in Kentucky raised questions about his suitability for dealing with Catholic priests' sexual abuse, an abuse survivors' group said.
Rev. William Medley, who has been a priest for 27 years in the Archdiocese of Louisville and was appointed Owensboro bishop in December by Pope Benedict XVI, served from 1989 to 1993 as a clergy personnel director for a bishop who re-assigned five priests facing accusations of the sexual abuse of minors, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported Sunday.
Some of the accused priests were convicted and sentenced to prison, the newspaper said.
Owensboro parishioners "have the right to be aware" of Medley's involvement in those cases, said Cal Pfeiffer, a Louisville member of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.
"These things raise some real questions, and if they are never brought out, it would show there's no consequence for him, for how he handled his job, Pfeiffer said.
The decision to re-assign priests rested with then-Archbishop Thomas C. Kelly, who retired in 2007, facing criticisms over information that he had kept some abusive priests in ministry. Such practice was commonplace until the 2002 Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People established a zero-tolerance policy on priests' sexual abuse, the Courier-Journal said.
Medley said he would handle any future revelations of abuse seriously.
"I think what I need to say to the people in Owensboro, and certainly any victims that would come forward, would be that I fully support the charter," Medley said.