Bishop Kevin Rhoades involvement in Pennsylvania priests sex abuse cases detailed in Grand Jury report

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Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese says he confronted at least two instances of alleged sexual abuse by priests when he was posted in Pennsylvania.

And in both, he says he notified his superiors and law enforcement of the accusations while also cautioning against publicly releasing the information to avoid “scandal,” according to the South Bend Tribune as detailed in a Grand Jury report.

One of the priests, William Presley, was a student, rector and employee at the University of Notre Dame in the 1970s, when some of his abuse allegedly took place, the South Bend Tribune reported.

In 2006, after Presley had retired, Rhoades recommended he be defrocked.

Rhoades said that he was concerned that information about Presley’s violent behavior would create a “great public scandal” for the church.

A Notre Dame spokesperson said that the University is “not aware of any complaints about” Presley, who has since passed away, during his time at the campus in the 1970s, the South Bend Tribune reported.

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