Local Priest goes Public with Church Letters

A parish priest has gone public with information that appears to detail a cover-up by the Cincinnati Archdiocese. As a result, victims of clergy abuse and their supporters are renewing calls for Cincinnati Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk to step down. Hamilton County Prosecutor Joe Deters is also reviewing cases of alleged sexual abuse within the Archdiocese, and asking victims to contact his office.

Letters from the mid 1980's were recently made public through civil lawsuits against the Archdiocese. Those letters lay out one priest's concerns about sexual abuse allegations against a fellow priest and the Archdiocese' response to the concerns. Plaintiffs in the case say the letters demonstrate a concerted effort by the Archdoicese to cover up the crimes of its priests prior to 1994.

Father Tom Bolte, parish priest at St. Ignatius of Loyola, now acknowledges he's the priest who wrote to the Archbishop. Father Bolte says he went public hoping that victims of all abuse will come forward, see that it's not their fault, and get the help they need. Parishoners at his church would not comment on the father's decision, but Father Bolte tells Fox 19 many people have called him to voice their support and say thy appreciate his honesty. Voice of the Faithful - a national laygroup supporting victims of clergy abuse - applauds Father Bolte, and asks others to come forward with their stories.

Archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco says a gag order regarding the pending civil suits against the Archdioecse prohibits him from commenting on the documents and on Father Bolte's decision to talk publicly about them. Andriacco also says Archbishop Pilarczyk is not considering any of the repeated calls for him to step down as leader of the Archdiocese.