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Church admits ex-priest on council

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LOUISVILLE, Ky., Feb. 17 (UPI) -- The Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville, Ky., says a defrocked priest on probation for rape should not have been on a parish council.

The church released a statement Wednesday, responding to allegations by a couple who have filed a lawsuit, the Louisville Courier-Journal reported. Margie and Gary Weiter say she was fired from her position as a bookkeeper at St. Therese in Germantown for complaining about a priest who was under investigation for child molestation being allowed to have unsupervised contact with children while living at the rectory.

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The Weiters recently added Bruce Ewing to their lawsuit, charging that as head of the parish council he played a role in her dismissal. Ewing left the priesthood in the 1970s and married and was sentenced to five years probation in 2007 for sexually assaulting a teenage girl while he was a priest.

The archdiocese said Ewing was not head of the council.

"All employees and volunteers who work with children in Catholic parishes and schools must undergo background checks and participate in training," the statement said. "In Mr. Ewing's case, it was assumed that since he was not working with children, his volunteer service on the parish council was acceptable. Per our sexual abuse policies, this is not correct and will not continue."

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