SALT LAKE CITY — The Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City has received “credible allegations of sexual abuse” against 16 priests since 1990, Bishop Oscar Solis said in an open letter this week to Utah Catholics.

Those allegations include complaints submitted against two priests this year.

Bishop Solis’ letter, published in the diocese’s newspaper, Intermountain Catholic, said such allegations have also been submitted against one seminarian and one brother in that time period.

The sexual abuse grievances filed with the diocese since 1990 “involved approximately 34 victims.” Two of the accused priests were the subjects of complaints submitted this year, Bishop Solis said in the message.

“Both have been reported to the authorities; investigation is ongoing and both are under temporary suspension from priestly ministry,” he wrote.

In his letter, he decried “the horrible sins of some priests against minors and the failure of some bishops in their responsibility to nourish and protect the little ones.”

“In the Diocese of Salt Lake City, we take our sacred responsibility of protecting our children very seriously. We are saddened by and ashamed of the sexual abuse scandal in our church,” Bishop Solis said. “Some of our priests and bishops have committed harm and injustice to so many. On behalf of all my brother priests, and myself, I beg your forgiveness for their sins and failings.”

In August, the diocese announced it had placed the Rev. David R. Gaeta, a pastor in American Fork, on administrative leave while it investigates accusations of sexual misconduct against children between 1980 and 1984 when the Rev. Gaeta oversaw a parish in Ogden.

Jean Hill, government liaison for the diocese, said at the time that the accusations involved two people who allegedly were inappropriately touched during that time, when they were boys. Hill did not know the age of those boys at the time of …read more

Source:: Deseret News – Utah News


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