Bishop Rhoades responds to report of child abuse in PA
As the fallout from the Grand Jury report out of Pennsylvania continues, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese is responding.
Rhoades is mentioned in the report as confronting allegations of abuse against two priests while he was the Bishop in Harrisburg from 2004 to 2009. Both of the alleged incidents happened before his tenure and both priests were already out of the ministry.
In one report he wrote, he's quoted as saying, "Were this information to become known, especially in light of his offers of public assistance at Mass in several parishes, great public scandal would arise within this diocese."
Rhoades made a seminal statement about another priest accused of sexual misconduct with a child.
However, Rhoades says he did release all of that information to the proper authorities.
“I followed all child protection policies and procedures, notified law enforcement, and took other action as appropriate, since each of the accused priests had already been removed from public ministry due to previous allegations.” Rhoades said in a statement.
Rhoades’ attorney also submitted a response to the Grand Jury report. The response claims the report contains “scant context” and gives a reason behind Rhoades’ use of the word “scandal.”
“According to Canon Law, one of the key purposes of imposing ecclesiastical penalties is the ‘repair of scandal.’” The response reads.
“Scandal” is used frequently in Canon Law.
The Grand Jury report describes that verbiage, and others used in church documents, as a way to conceal truth.
We reached out to Rhoades for an on-camera interview. A diocese spokesperson told us the Bishop is currently out of the country.