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Diocese must offer the truth

To the editor:

The Diocese of Steubenville, under the leadership of Bishop Jeffrey Monforton, should follow the recent example of Bishop Robert Brennan of the Diocese of Columbus in an article published on Jan. 25. The Diocese of Columbus has taken steps to examine its policies regarding the sexual abuse of minors with the creation of a task force, and hired a law firm to determine whether more names should be added to a list of credibly accused priests. The diocese in March released a list of 34 clergy members accused of sexual abuse.

The list now includes 50 names. Monforton should follow Brennan’s lead and hire an independent law firm (possibly the same law firm the Diocese of Columbus utilized) to review its files for additional credibly accused priests.

The Jefferson County Prosecutor’s Office and the federal government have been investigating possible criminal charges arising from an independent audit of the Diocese of Steubenville and finances for the Holy Name Cathedral project.

The investigation has been going on for almost a year and a half. No one has been criminally charged. The only published information was that the former comptroller has been sued by the diocese. Nothing else has been reported.

Authorities in Athens investigated whether the Diocese of Steubenville responded appropriately when it learned that a priest for two of its parishes had taken an altar girl, impregnated by the priest, to a wedding reception in November 2018. The priest was convicted and sentenced to prison. To the best of my knowledge, nothing else has been reported regarding the outcome of the investigation of the diocese by the prosecutor’s office in Athens.

Why haven’t there been updates and resolution regarding investigations into the Diocese of Steubenville? Could it be that the diocese and Catholic Church’s legal team have been deflecting, delaying and otherwise impeding the investigative process?

It’s time for Monforton to follow the lead of others and walk the transparency talk regardless of the outcome and whoever it implicates.

The truth is not to be omitted to avoid scandal.

Frank Krajovic

Woodstock, Ga.

(Editor’s note: Krajovic is a 1965 graduate of Catholic Central High School.)

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