April 21, 2006

Alabama-based Catholic network kept abusive priest on staff


Associated Press
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. - A Roman Catholic ministry that bills itself as the largest global religious media network kept a priest on its staff for almost seven years despite knowing of his history as an admitted child abuser.

The Birmingham-based Eternal Word Television Network said the Rev. Real Bourque conducted mass, held weekly Bible study for workers and visitors and gave talks at retreats, but he wasn't allowed on the air or to be around young people after 1995, when executives say they learned of his past.

Bourque left EWTN in 2002 and lives in a Catholic retirement facility in Illinois.

Officials said they were unaware of any allegations of misconduct by Bourque related to his time in Alabama.

But responding in writing to questions from The Associated Press, EWTN President Michael P. Warsaw said "it is clear that we should have asked a lot more questions" about Bourque before letting him remain with the network.

Posted by kshaw at April 21, 2006 06:09 PM