Northwest Indiana diocese deems 10 former priests guilty of child sex abuse

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MERRILLVILLE, Ind. — A Catholic diocese in northwest Indiana has released the names of 10 former priests who the diocese has deemed guilty of sexually abusing children.

The Diocese of Gary released the list on Tuesday, the (Northwest Indiana) Times reported. The document also includes the number of allegations made against the priests and the actions taken by church officials. The information is based on diocesan records.

The list didn’t report whether any of the men, seven of whom are dead, ever faced criminal prosecution for their alleged child sex abuse. Richard Emerson, Terrence Chase and George Kavungal are still living and have been removed from public ministry. Emerson had four allegations, Chase had one and Kavungal had six.

The list was made public after a scathing Pennsylvania grand jury report found that about 300 Catholic priests abused at least 1,000 children over the past 70 years. The report detailed sex abuse allegations against Raymond Lukac, who served at the Gary Diocese’s Bishop Noll Institute.

Gary Bishop Donald Hying said the allegations were reviewed by the Diocesan Review Board and Kelly Venegas, the diocesan delegate for sexual misconduct. The board concluded there was insufficient evidence to affirm credibility, Hying said.

“Our local church shares in the universal sadness and anger regarding recent reports of sexual abuse by clergy,” he said. “While we continue to pray for all abuse victims, we also resolutely commit ourselves to zealous vigilance to ensure the protection of all of our children, youth and vulnerable adults.”

Hying said the Gary Diocese’s website has information about reporting allegations and how to get in touch with the diocese’s victim assistance coordinator.

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