February 18, 2005

Thorough investigation vowed



Springfield Catholic Bishop George Lucas and attorney Bill Roberts promised Thursday a "thorough, open-minded and unbiased" probe into allegations of misconduct involving priests of the diocese.

"I am deeply disturbed by the current allegations," the bishop said. "We demand greater scrutiny even to the appearance of misconduct."

Lucas called the allegations - he said some are aimed at him - "a matter of grave importance to Catholics in this diocese." He said the accusations against him are "totally false" and that none of the current allegations involves criminal behavior.

The bishop added that his attempts to separate truth from rumor have been frustrating.

Roberts, a former county and federal prosecutor, has been hired by the diocese to direct the investigation. He will have two assistants, and state and national investigators also will be available. Roberts will report his findings to a commission to be named by Lucas in the near future. That commission will examine the material Roberts' team collects and report to the bishop.

Posted by kshaw at February 18, 2005 08:22 AM