February 11, 2006

Diocese researching accusations about former Hays priest

Havre Daily News

Larry Kline

Havre Daily News

An official with the Fairbanks Diocese on Thursday responded to a lawsuit filed in Alaska alleging sexual abuse of children by two Jesuit priests, including a deceased priest who served out his last years at St. Paul's Mission Church in Hays.

Diocese human resources director Ronnie Rosenberg said the diocese, also known as the Catholic Bishop of Northern Alaska, was unaware of any complaints against the late Rev. Bernard McMeel, who served at St. Paul's from 1978 until his death in 1992, or the Rev. Andrew Eordogh, who is now retired and living in Hungary. In recent years, the diocese has taken an active approach to dealing with past complaints and preventing abuse, she added.

The lawsuit, filed Wednesday by Anchorage law firm Cooke, Roosa & Valcarce on behalf of an unnamed victim, alleges that first McMeel, then Eordogh, molested a boy between the ages of 4 and 7 between 1967 and 1970. The lawsuit names the Fairbanks Diocese, along with the Oregon and Alaska provinces of the Society of Jesus.

Posted by kshaw at February 11, 2006 08:45 AM