Diocese Says 30 Priests Abusive
Associated Press - August 30, 2003
COVINGTON, Ky. - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Covington
said it has "reasonable cause to believe" 8 percent
of its priests sexually abused one or more minors in the past
The figure represents 30 out of 372 diocesan priests in those
50 years. The diocese Friday disclosed the numbers in a 16-page
report mailed to the 89,000 Catholics in the 14-county diocese.
The diocese said it has received 158 allegations against
those priests, including 67 against one priest. Nine of the
30 priests have died and four have been expelled from the
priesthood. The other 17 have been removed from active ministry.
The report includes an apology from Bishop Roger Foys, who
took over the diocese in July 2002.
"Too often, the response of the Diocese to victims of
child sexual abuse was inadequate," Foys wrote. "In
the name of the Diocese of Covington, I apologize to you,
ask your forgiveness and pray for reconciliation and healing."
Foys wrote that he has met one-on-one with sexual-abuse victims
to apologize and will continue to do so.
According to the report, the diocese no longer will require,
as it had done in the past, confidentiality agreements when
claims are settled. Past confidentiality agreements will not
The diocese will perform criminal background checks on priests
and other employees who work with children. It encourages
people to report claims of abuse to police, prosecutors and
Since 1989, the diocese has paid nearly $780,000 in uninsured
settlements with victims, $722,000 for counseling and $218,000
in legal fees, according to the report. All the money came
from the diocese's insurers or from interests on investments.
No money from parishes, the sale of real estate or from the
diocese's annual fund-raiser was used.
The diocese this month announced it would begin settlement
talks with 22 people who filed a $50 million lawsuit in Lexington,
alleging abuse by priests under the jurisdiction of the Covington