FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) - Fr. Cornelius Ryan, CSC, has been removed as administrator of St. Joseph Catholic Church-Hessen Cassel after being accused of sexual abuse.
Bishop Kevin Rhoades was notified June 10 of a "credible allegation" that Fr. Ryan had sexually abused a minor about 20 years ago while serving in Africa, the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend says in a statement released Wednesday. (Entire statement from Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend)
Ryan was removed from public ministry June 10 in accordance with laws of the Roman Catholic Church and the Superior of the Congregation of Holy Cross is handling the case, the diocese says.
Parishioners were told of Ryan's removal at Masses over the weekend.
"We're heartbroken by these events," Sean McBride with the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend says. "Right now, our main concern, and utmost concern, is for the spiritual safety and well-being of the parishioners at St. Joe-Hessen Cassel.
Ryan was appointed administrator of St. Joseph-Hessen Cassel in December 2011, after the parish pastor, Fr. Thomas Lombardi, was accused of sexual abuse of a minor during Lombardi's time at a previous church.
The Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith continues its review of Lombardi's allegations, according to the diocese. Lombardi remains pastor of St. Joe-Hessen Cassel, but has not performed public ministry since his removal.
Grief counselors have been available at the church over the past week.
Bishop Kevin Rhoades intends to appoint a new administrator this weekend, McBride says. The new administrator would not likely start until mid-July.
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