Six Priests Begin Administrative Leave on Friday

05/23/02 12:00AM By Steve Zind
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(Host) The Catholic Diocese of Burlington says six priests under investigation by the Vermont attorney general's office will be placed on administrative leave beginning this Friday.

VPR's Steve Zind reports.


(Zind) Last week the diocese gave the attorney general information on past alleged sexual misconduct by 20 Vermont priests. Officials said six were still active and would be relieved of their duties until authorities complete their investigation. Diocese officials say the priests were told in advance that their names would be turned over to the attorney general. This week, the six were informed by letter that they would be placed on administrative leave until the investigation is complete.

According to the Reverend Wendell Searles, the diocese vicar general, church officials will have no comment on the identities of the priests:

(Searles) "The bishop decided that he wanted to leave this to the individual people as to announcing this to their own congregation."

(Zind) Attorney General William Sorrell has also indicated his office will not release the names of the six priests while the investigation is under way. Sorrell says he will give priority to the allegations against the active priests in order to complete the investigation as soon as possible.

For Vermont Public Radio, I'm Steve Zind.
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