March 16, 2005

Former St. Louis auxiliary bishop will head Belleville diocese

St. Louis Post-Dispatch

By Robert Goodrich
Of the Post-Dispatch

Bishop Edward K. Braxton slipped into Belleville Tuesday to meet with Catholics from the 28 Southern Illinois counties he will serve, but said he doesn't expect to be formally installed until early June.

Braxton, 60, has been bishop of the Lake Charles Diocese in Louisiana for the past four years. He will replace the Most Rev. Wilton D. Gregory, installed two months ago as archbishop of Atlanta.

At a news conference Tuesday at the chancery office in Belleville, Braxton said he was surprised at his selection but eager to return to Illinois and the St. Louis area. ...

He was asked about sexual abuse by priests. Braxton said none was alleged during his episcopate in Lake Charles but that he had set up procedures to handle accusations should they arise - before a procedure was addressed at a bishops' meeting in Dallas in 2002.

Braxton said he would happily meet with victims. "Bishop Gregory certainly responded to those allegations," Braxton said. "We must be vigilant and aggressive."

Depending on the circumstances, he said, he might meet with people from the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests.

Posted by kshaw at March 16, 2005 05:47 AM