November 09, 2005

Church knew of abuse, suit claims

Indianapolis Star

Associated Press
The Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis knew about six allegations of child sexual abuse against a priest when it placed him in a rural parish where he molested again, a lawsuit filed Wednesday alleged.

The archdiocese, meanwhile, fended off a call by an abuse survivors group to appoint a non-attorney as its staff member who coordinates aid to sexual abuse victims.

The lawsuit, the fifth in two months to accuse the Rev. Harry E. Monroe of molesting young male parishioners, was filed in Marion Superior Court against the former priest and the 240,000-member archdiocese. The unidentified plaintiff alleges Monroe molested him at St. Paul Parish in Tell City over the two years before the archdiocese removed him from ministry in 1984.

The litigation against Monroe and the archdiocese took a darker turn with the latest complaint, however, because it alleges church leaders were aware of at least six molesting complaints against Monroe when they transferred him to arguably the most remote corner of the 39-county diocese, a small Ohio River community midway between Louisville, Ky., and Evansville.

“He was taken and placed and in a rural parish where I’m sure the archdiocese thought that he couldn’t get them in trouble,” said attorney Patrick Noaker of Minneapolis, who represents each of the plaintiffs suing Monroe.

Posted by kshaw at November 9, 2005 07:41 PM