April 18, 2006

ML priest accused of sex abuse

Columbia Basin Herald

MOSES LAKE -- A priest at Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church has been accused of sexual abuse and has withdrawn from his position.

In a letter to parishioners dated April 12 and handed to churchgoers this Easter Sunday, Father John Morse stated that he had received a call from his religious superior, Father John Whitney who is the provincial for the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus, informing him of the allegations.

"These allegations refer to my days some 35-40 years ago while working in the area around Omak, Washington, though we have not yet received any further details," Morse wrote.

At the request of Whitney and Bishop Carlos Sevilla of Yakima, Morse stated, he is withdrawing from all public ministry, "and will go to live with my Jesuit brothers until these charges can be answered and my name cleared."

Morse denied the allegations in his letter.

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2006 06:53 AM