LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A former priest who was serving a prison sentence for sexually abusing Kentucky children has died.

Louis Miller died Saturday morning after a lengthy illness, according to Lisa Lamb, a spokeswoman for the Kentucky Department of Corrections. 

Miller was removed from the priesthood in 2004 by the late Pope John Paul II after pleading guilty in 2003 to sexually abusing a Kentucky resident and other victims who were children in the 1970s. 

In a deposition transcription obtained by The Associated Press, Miller said he had offered to resign as early as 1962 to his then-Archbishop John Floersh, and that two subsequent archbishops knew of his crimes but continued to keep him as a priest, moving him from parish to parish.

In explaining why he wanted to resign, Miller said: "I just knew that the crime was so horrendous in my own mind that I didn't feel that I was worthy to remain a priest." But he said Floersh was "compassionate," kept him on, and told him "You will always be a good priest."

After his sentencing in 2003, Miller asked for his victims' forgiveness.

"For all of you who I have in any ways insulted, afflicted or abused, I ask your prayers too for me," he said. 

"I stand before you begging that somewhere along the line you can forgive me," he added.

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