March 16, 2006

Retired priest suspended over sex-abuse allegations

Cincinnati Enquirer

The Archdiocese of Cincinnati suspended a retired priest Wednesday because of accusations he sexually abused a teenaged boy in the 1970s and early 1980s.

The Rev. Donald E. Shelander, a former teacher at Catholic Central High School in Springfield, now is barred from presiding at Mass or performing any other priestly duties.

Church officials said the alleged victim, now an adult, made the accusation late last year. They said a church investigator looked into the claim and found the allegations had a "semblance of truth," the standard needed to suspend a priest.

The case now will be investigated further to determine whether the Vatican should consider permanently removing Shelander from the priesthood.

Church spokesman Dan Andriacco said the accuser told church officials the abuse occurred when he was between 14 and 18 years old, while Shelander was pastor at St. Mary Parish in Urbana.

He said Shelander has denied the allegations.

Posted by kshaw at March 16, 2006 07:15 AM