Monday, July 12, 2010

Sex abuse by former Erie Episcopal bishop revealed

Sex abuse by former Erie Episcopal bishop revealed
Monday, July 12, 2010
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
The Episcopal bishop of the Erie-based Diocese of Northwestern Pennsylvania is reaching out to women who may have been sexually abused in their childhoods by one of his deceased predecessors.

A letter from Bishop Sean Rowe was read after services on Sunday at the diocese's 34 churches.

In it, he said he has learned of four credible allegations of sexual abuse committed by Donald Davis, who was bishop of the diocese from 1974 to 1991. The four cases occurred in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Bishop Rowe said one of the victims contacted him in late March, and that he immediately began an investigation that unearthed information on three previous cases, according to a news release.

Some of the cases had been known to some national church authorities, but had never been made public, he said.

As part of the resolution of those cases, Bishop Davis resigned from the Episcopal Church's House of Bishops in 1994. He died in 2007.

Bishop Rowe asked any other women who may have been abused to contact him.

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