Archbishop Chaput removes priest from ministry following allegation
April 14, 2010
Archbishop Charles Chaput has swiftly removed a 74-year-old priest from ministry after he was accused of abusing a child in the early 1970s.
“Father [Mel] Thompson has no previous allegation of any sexual misconduct with a minor in his priestly history; in fact, any priest who did, would not be allowed to minister in the archdiocese,” the archbishop noted. “He also maintains his innocence of the allegation, and that presumption of innocence, along with his privacy, must be respected.”
Archbishop Chaput added:
The only “good” news in today’s heavy, renewed media attention to international allegations of clergy sex abuse is that we’ve learned a great deal from experience. It’s clear now, in ways far more irrefutable and widely reported than in years past, that celibacy has nothing to do with the cause of clergy sexual abuse; that the Church in the United States has acted vigorously to deal with this problem; that priests abuse young people at no higher rate than any other profession or social group; that sexual abuse of minors is equally prevalent in public schools and institutions; and that too often - as Investor’s Business Daily editorialized on April 9 - too much of the press itself, including leading publications like The New York Times, has a seriously flawed approach to reporting this sensitive issue.
- Denver archbishop defends removal of priest after allegations of sexual abuse (Denver Post)
- Swift action painful but necessary in abuse allegation (Denver Catholic Register)