An Indiana man has sued, alleging his former priest sexually abused him as a boy and the church hierarchy covered it up.
The man, known as John Doe 1 in court papers, claims that Father James Grear molested him at a Catholic youth rally in 1982. The lawsuit names Grear, the church, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Lafayette as defendants.
The lawsuit alleges that after the rally, Doe returned to his rural home in another county and attended confession in his home church. Lafayette Bishop Raymond Gallagher was hearing confessions that day.
The boy told him about the abuse, but Gallagher “instructed John Doe to forget about the abuse, to ask God to forgive him, and not to disclose the abuse to anyone else,” according to the lawsuit.
Court papers list all of Grear’s assignments since 1971; none of them lasted longer than two years. Doe’s lawsuit claims that is because the church hierarchy was shuffling the priest between parishes to conceal that he is a sexual predator.
It also lists five other former priests and names them as sexual predators. The lawsuit says the church also concealed their sexual abuse of young parishioners.
Bishop Gallagher died in 1991. He served on President Dwight Eisenhower’s Commission on Child Welfare between 1958 and 1959 according to the Lafayette Journal & Courier.