Recently released reports detail priest sex abuse in Louisville and southern Indiana

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Two recently released reports detail child sexual abuse by Catholic priests in Louisville and southern Indiana. 

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis has released a list of 19 priests credibly accused of child sexual assault. The Archdiocese said an allegation of sex abuse of a child was "deemed credible" if the accusation was found to be "more likely to be true than not in the judgment of the Archdiocesan Review Board" after an investigation and review. 

Fr. Albert Deery has the most accusations on that list with 23 credible claims. Deery was the pastor of St. Augustine in Jeffersonville from 1942 until his death in 1972. The Archdiocese said the abuse happened in the late 1950s through early 1970s.

The pastor who preaches from the same pulpit Deery did condemned what he called an ugly part of the church's history.

"There have been some priests who have failed in a big way, who have done terrible things," Fr. Doug Marcotte said. "We can't pretend like it didn't happen. We can't sweep it under the rug. One of the things that we have to do is we have to stand up and say 'I'm sorry' to the victims. We have to acknowledge that this happened."

Two other names that could have local ties are also on the Archdiocese's list. Fr. Michael Kelley and Fr. Conrad Cambron have two credible accusations each. The website for St. John the Baptist, Starlight church says Kelley was pastor there from 2000-2002. The Archdiocese list said Kelley had two victims in 1990 and 1992 and was removed from priestly ministry in 2003.

The church website shows Cambron was involved with the church in the late 1970s. It lists him as "The Fifth Son of the Parish" ordained in 1976. The Archdiocese's list says his accusations were in 1978 and 1980 and that he resigned from priesthood in 1985. 

"By releasing the names ... you're showing those victims that we've heard you and that we believe you and that we agree that this is wrong," Marcotte said. 

The Archdiocese of Louisville released a four-page report on sexual abuse, but it does not list the names of any priests. The Suvivor's Network of those Abused by Priests or SNAP says that's a problem. 

"Unless they name the priest, show their assignments and where they were located, it's just half information," SNAP leader Cal Pfieffer said. 

The report outlines how the Archdiocese of Louisville handles sexual abuse allegations and pledges to protect victims. In a detailed timeline of events, the report shows that more than 40 priests were involved in hundreds of cases of child sexual abuse since the 1980s. In nearly 250 of those cases, the accusers reached a settlement with the Archdiocese in the early 2000s.

"This type of abuse, a lot people ... they don't come to grips with it for 30 to 40 years," Pfieffer said. 

WDRB News asked the Archdiocese of Louisville why the report didn't contain the names of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse. It sent the following statement: 

"By way of background, all of our records of abuse were provided to the authorities in 2002.  Media stories during 2002-2003 also widely reported on more than 250 cases that were brought to the Archdiocese through civil litigation. Since that time, all substantiated allegations involving living priests have been public.

The Archdiocese is studying the question of publishing a list of credibly accused clergy on our web page after a third-party review of records. We have begun this study process by consulting with the Archdiocese of Louisville Sexual Abuse Review Board, the Priests’ Council, and other consultative bodies."

- Cecelia H. Price, Archdiocese of Louisville Chief Communications Officer 

To read the report from the Indianapolis Archdiocese, click HERE. To read Louisville's full report, click HERE

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