March 11, 2006

FW Diocese replacing officials in abuse cases

The Dallas Morning News

12:00 AM CST on Saturday, March 11, 2006
By BROOKS EGERTON / The Dallas Morning News

Fort Worth's new Catholic bishop, under pressure to release records about clergy-abuse allegations, is replacing two top officials who have long handled such matters.

Bishop Kevin Vann is also taking the rare step of promoting into upper management a married priest, the Rev. E. James Hart.

Father Hart one of about 90 former Episcopal priests working as Catholic clerics in the United States will assume the Rev. Robert Wilson's job as Fort Worth Diocese chancellor.

And the Rev. Michael Olson will become vicar general, replacing the Rev. Joseph Schumacher.

All of those involved were unavailable for comment Friday or did not respond to messages. But Bishop Vann, in a memo obtained by The Dallas Morning News, praised Monsignor Schumacher and Father Wilson.

"They have given too much to all of us, especially in recent years, not only by their service, but by their example of being faithful servants of Jesus Christ," Bishop Vann wrote to his priests and to fellow bishops around Texas.

Monsignor Schumacher and Father Wilson, while retiring from diocesan management, are expected to continue parish duties. The retirements take effect July 1.

Posted by kshaw at March 11, 2006 05:08 PM