Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Rapist priest
Archdiocese: Louisville church wrongly allowed rapist to serve on parish board

5:31 PM, Feb. 16, 2011 | 6Comments
Written by
Peter Smith Filed Under
Local News
The Archdiocese of Louisville has admitted that a Louisville parish allowed a convicted rapist to serve on a volunteer board, violating church policies.

Bruce Ewing had been allowed to serve on a volunteer parish council of St. Therese Church in Germantown despite his 2007 conviction of third-degree rape involving a teenage girl in the 1970s when he was a priest.
Ewing resigned from the council Tuesday, a day after his presence on the board came to light in a pending lawsuit, the archdiocese said.
“All employees and volunteers who work with children in Catholic parishes and schools must undergo background checks and participate in training,” said a statement released by the archdiocese Wednesday. “In Mr. Ewing's case, it was assumed that since he was not working with children, his volunteer service on the parish council was acceptable. Per our sexual abuse policies, this is not correct and will not continue.”
Ewing's presence on the parish board — which the archdiocese described as a voluntary advisory committee — prompted a denunciation by a victim's advocacy group.
“It doesn't serve anybody well to keep doing the wrong things,” said Colleen Powell of the Louisville chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) at a press conference Wednesday morning outside the archdiocese's headquarters on College Street. “It totally undermines … my trust in their credibility.”
Ewing, who is serving a sentence of five years' probation, was listed in the minutes of a St. Therese parish council meeting in a copy of the February 2011 parish newsletter shown to The Courier-Journal by the plaintiffs.
His 2007 trial drew extensive publicity. His conviction involved a sexual relationship with a girl beginning when she was 15.
He left the ministry of the priesthood in the 1970s and married, but he was not formally dismissed from the priesthood until 2004.
The developments followed new allegations in a lawsuit first filed in January by a Louisville couple against the archdiocese and other parties.

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