March 10, 2005

Suspended Priest Proclaims His Innocence


POSTED: 12:22 am EST March 10, 2005
UPDATED: 7:53 am EST March 10, 2005

CINCINNATI -- One of three priests suspended by the Cincinnati archdiocese Wednesday proclaimed his innocence and said the archbishop told him face to face that he didn't believe the allegation.

Father Michael Paraniuk said the allegation that he abused a man in 1983 was investigated three times and was never substantiated, News 5's John London reported.

Paraniuk said Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk told him last week he didn't believe the accusation.

"Archbishop Pilarczyk looked at me and said, 'I think you're innocent.' But I have to suspend you because money was awarded. We have to take this to the next level."

The archdiocese said it was required to suspend Paraniuk, Stanley Doerger and David Vincent after an independent panel awarded money to their accusers from a victim's fund.

Paraniuk said it was his idea to give money to his accuser.

"I made the suggestion." Parakiuk said. "I said, 'Give him money.' If it makes him feel better and brings this to closure for me, then we could get on with our lives, I said, 'Give him money.'

"But I'm telling you, I am innocent. I did not do this."

Posted by kshaw at March 10, 2005 08:05 AM