May 19, 2005

Papers show Idaho bishop protected abusive priests

Idaho Statesman

Bill Roberts and Gregory Hahn

Idaho Catholic Bishop Michael P. Driscoll was one of several high ranking church officials who brought a priest with a complaint of sexual misconduct into a southern California diocese and moved another priest when a complaint of sexual misconduct arose, according to documents made public Tuesday.

Driscoll served as chancellor in the Orange Diocese between 1976 and 1987 and he was responsible for clergy personnel matters. He was named the bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Boise in 1999.

In 2002 as the priest scandal exploded nationwide, Driscoll apologized for mistakes in handling priest sexual misconduct matters. He issued a second apology earlier this month documents were about to be released.

"I ... apologize to the victims who were harmed by priests in the Diocese of Orange and for my role in these cases," Driscoll wrote in a prepared statement before the documents were released. "I am ashamed that this happened. The focus at the time was to provide help to priests so they could continue in their vocations. I know know that our priorities were horribly misplaced."

Posted by kshaw at May 19, 2005 01:23 PM