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Archdiocese Of Louisville Says 22 Priests 'Credibly Accused' Of Child Sex Abuse

Archdiocese of Louisville Pastoral Center
Archdiocese via Twitter

A report issued Friday by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Louisville says 22 of its priests have been "credibly accused" of child sexual abuse dating back more than 70 years.

The archdiocese retained an independent investigator, former federal and state prosecutor Mark Miller, to review its files on accusations of child sex abuse.

“Most of the reports were adults reporting child sexual abuse from decades ago. Most of the priests were deceased," Miller said.

"Twenty-two priests’ files contained at least one substantiated report of child sexual abuse that is contained in the list in the report.”

Miller said 12 of the priests were removed from ministry or placed under restrictions; eight of them were prosecuted. He said with one exception, the last report of abuse was reported to the archdiocese in the 1980s.

Miller also found allegations against more than a dozen members of religious orders who worked for the archdiocese, but he said information about them is limited.

Miller’s report was presented to the Archdiocese of Louisville Sexual Abuse Review Board, which was created after the archdiocese reached a $25 million settlement with more than 200 clergy abuse victims in 2003.

At Friday's news conference, Archbishop Joseph Kurtz urged anyone who suffered abuse within the church and has not reported it to contact police.

Kurtz also issued an apology.

“I do need to say how deeply sorry I am for anytime that the church, either by denial, by apathy or by placing blame elsewhere, has added to your pain if you have experienced sexual abuse,” Kurtz said.

Miller's report is available on the archdiocese's website.

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation." Email Rick at rhowlett@lpm.org.