March 05, 2005

Bishop apologizes for priest's actions

Toledo Blade

Bishop Leonard Blair, in an unprecedented public letter, apologized to hundreds of members of a West Toledo Catholic parish for the actions of a former priest removed from ministry for allegedly sexually abusing young girls in the 1970s.

The letter was mailed this week to parishioners at St. Pius X Church as part of a legal settlement between the diocese, the parish, and Teresa Bombrys, 43, who accused former associate pastor Chet Warren of molesting her when she was a student at the parish's grade school.

The bishop wrote that Ms. Bombrys' complaint was investigated by the diocese and "determined to be credible."

"On behalf of the Diocese of Toledo and Saint Pius X Parish, I apologize to Teresa Bombrys for the harm she suffered," the bishop stated. "I continue to pray for her and all the other innocent victims of sexual abuse and ask your prayers as well as those who have been harmed."

In addition to the letter - the first of its kind ever sent by the Toledo diocese - the bishop plans to preside at a healing Mass at the church sometime later this year, Sally Oberski, diocesan spokesman, said.

Posted by kshaw at March 5, 2005 12:17 PM