Several priests in prison for child sex abuse still being paid by Louisville Catholic church

By Gil Corse, September 27, 2017,

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- They stand convicted of committing terrible sins, but pedophile priests are still being paid by the Catholic church in Louisville.

"I think it's absurd," Michael Norris said. "I just don't understand it." 

Norris is one of Fr. Joseph Hemmerle's victims, molested at age 11 at camp Tall Trees in Meade County in the 1970's.

"This man is who I was thought is an extension of God," Norris said. "That's what the Catholic church taught me. And here's God doing this to me. It really messes with your spirituality."

Denied shock probation this month, Hemmerle's black-and-white prison jumpsuit appeared in stark contrast to the same colors he once wore robed in the Catholic church. 

"All these practicing Catholics should be outraged that, here is this guy twice convicted, sitting in jail for what he did, and he's still a priest," Norris said.

The Archdiocese of Louisville said Hemmerle is  . . .

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  • John Nesbella
    commented 2017-09-28 13:05:22 -0500
    Last month my old diocese was taking up second collections for the priest retirement fund. Isn’t it nice to know that your money is going to support convicted child molesters who the church still pays for being a priest.

    “Far more often than removing a priest for molestation, the Catholic church orders him to a lifetime of “prayer and penance.” That’s the case for Rev. James Schook, convicted in Louisville in 2014.
    “Priests who are directed to lead a life of prayer and penance may not exercise ministry, say mass publicly, or administer the sacraments,” said Archdiocese of Louisville Spokeswoman Cecilia Price. “They may not wear clerical garb or present themselves as a priests.”

    But they can sill collect a check from the church.
    “Priests on prayer and penance receive medical insurance and a reduced salary if not retired or reduced retirement benefits,” Price said.

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