May 20, 2006

Diocese says it has no say about priest

Belleville News-Democrat

BELLEVILLE - A defrocked priest who has admitted to molesting children and lives in a religious order's retirement home is not the responsibility of the bishop of Belleville, the Rev. Jack McEvilly, diocesan vicar general, said Friday.

And despite a priest sexual abuse policy of zero tolerance developed in 2002 at theAbuse Tracker Bishop's Conference in Dallas, religious orders are not bound by the agreement.

"I think that the bishop is within the Dallas accords," said McEvilly about Bishop Edward Braxton's decision to allow the Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate to decide what to do about the Rev. Real Bourque, 78. In Belleville, the Oblates operate the Shrine of Our Lady of the Snows and a retirement home near Althoff Catholic High School.

"They have accepted that it is their responsibility to provide a residence and adequate supervision for Father Bourque," McEvilly said about the outcome of a meeting on Tuesday at the chancery between him and local Oblate leader the Rev. Allen Maes.

Posted by kshaw at May 20, 2006 10:23 AM