March 15, 2006

Retired priest suspended for late '70s Urbana allegations

The Beacon Journal

Associated Press

CINCINNATI - The Archdiocese of Cincinnati put a retired Roman Catholic priest on administrative leave Wednesday because of child sexual abuse allegations stemming from his time as a pastor in Urbana nearly three decades ago.
As a result of the action, Donald E. Shelander cannot celebrate the sacraments or present himself as a priest in any way. Shelander, pastor of St. Mary Parish in Urbana in 1977-83, retired in 2002, the archdiocese said.
"So far as we can determine from our records, these are the first allegations of sexual abuse against him," said archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco.
An adult male recently reported to the archdiocese that Shelander engaged in inappropriate sexual behavior with him when the man was 14 to 18 years old. A private investigator for the archdiocese looked into the allegations, and the archdiocese found that they had "the semblance of truth." However, Wednesday's action by Archbishop Daniel E. Pilarczyk doesn't mean a presumption of guilt, the archdiocese said.
Shelander could not be reached for comment Wednesday. There was no answer to telephone calls to his home.

Posted by kshaw at March 15, 2006 07:29 PM