April 18, 2006

Jesuit priest accused of sexual abuse, leaves Moses Lake church

Seattle Post-Intelligencer


MOSES LAKE, Wash. -- A Jesuit priest has been accused of sexual abuse and, at the request of his superiors, has withdrawn as pastor of Our Lady of Fatima Catholic Church, parishioners were told on Easter.

In a letter dated April 12 and handed to churchgoers Sunday, the Rev. John J. Morse wrote that he learned of the accusations in a call from his religious superior, the Rev. John D. Whitney, the provincial or head of the Oregon Province of the Society of Jesus.

"I want you to know that I categorically deny that I have ever abused another person, and certainly not a child. I am deeply saddened by these allegations and pray that I will be exonerated once a full investigation is complete," Morse wrote.

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

Posted by kshaw at April 18, 2006 07:59 AM