More people come forward with allegations of abuse
EVANSVILLE -- Roman Catholic church officials said Friday that morethan 10 people have come forward with allegations they were sexuallyabused by a southern Indiana priest.
The Diocese of Evansville said the number of allegations againstMonsignor Othmar Schroeder, who died in 1988, has continued to growsince Bishop Gerald Gettelfinger announced the abuse during sermons ata Jasper church two weekends ago.
Diocese spokesman Paul Leingang said the allegations were the mostagainst one priest in the diocese's 64-year history, but he citedchurch confidentiality in not providing more specific numbers.
Schroeder, a once admired priest, was the founding pastor of theHoly Family Church in Jasper, about 50 miles northeast of Evansville.He remained at the parish for 28 years until 1975, when he wastransferred to Sacred Heart Church in nearby Schnellville.
The allegations in recent weeks have sullied Schroeder's legacy andled the bishop to ask for his picture be removed from Holy Family andfor the Knights of Columbus branch in Jasper to change the name of amemorial in his honor.
David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abuse byPriests, said the number of victims of clergy sex abuse who comeforward often are a fraction of the population they represent.
Clohessy said he expected the number of allegations of abuse at Schroeder's hands to grow.
Gettelfinger has told diocese congregations in the past two weeksthat he learned of the allegations as early as 1996, but that hiscommitment at the time was to offer counseling and protect victims'confidentiality.
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