Thursday, May 14, 2009

Diocese will review priests' files
Last updated May 13, 2009 2:18 p.m. PT
Catholic diocese in NM will review priests' files
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- The Roman Catholic Diocese of Gallup is reviewing the files of all its priests, saying it wants a more thorough evaluation under the church's national policy on preventing abuse and responding to molestation claims.
The diocese, in a statement Tuesday, said it's in full compliance with the policy but a "recent oversight in diocesan files" prompted the review of all active, retired, formerly served and dead priests.
Evaluations began in February after the diocese's then-apostolic administrator, the Most Rev. Thomas J. Olmsted, was considering moving the Rev. John Boland to another parish and discovered an article in his file that "indicated some possible abuse in his past," Lee Lamb, diocese communications director, said Wednesday.
Olmsted placed Boland on leave. The diocese said Boland was accused of "committing misconduct with a juvenile in the early 1980s."
Olmsted was succeeded last month by Bishop James Wall. The diocese, with 53 parishes, encompasses San Juan and McKinley counties in New Mexico and most of northeastern Arizona.
Lamb said the diocese had no comment beyond its announcement of the reviews.
Once the reviews are finished this fall, the diocese said it will post on its Web site a list of priests, if any, who have been removed from ministry.
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