In the wake of the investigation into clergy abuse in Pennsylvania, an allegation of misconduct has surfaced against Fort-Wayne South Bend Diocese Bishop Kevin Rhoades.
The allegation involves a former prison inmate when Rhoades served as a priest in the Harrisburg Diocese, according to a report by Pennlive.com. The inmate died back in the mid-1990s.
The Harrisburg Diocese issued the following statement regarding the allegation:
“We can confirm that we recently received an allegation of misconduct against former Bishop of Harrisburg Kevin Rhoades relating to his service as a priest within the Diocese. We immediately referred the matter to the Dauphin County District Attorney’s Office and PA ChildLine per state law and Diocesan policy. We would stress that this is an allegation. We will have no further comment until the investigation of the Office of the District Attorney is concluded.”
The Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese issued a statement of their own, regarding the allegation:
“Bishop Kevin C. Rhoades adamantly denies any validity to this accusation and the insinuation of inappropriate behavior. He did nothing wrong, and is confident any investigation will bear this out.”
Last month, Rhoades announced he would publicly release the names of all the priests in his Catholic diocese who’ve been removed from the ministry following allegations they sexually abused children. That, in response to a grand jury’s findings that more than 300 predator priests had abused more than 1,000 children in six Pennsylvania dioceses.
Rhoades was the bishop of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, from 2004 to 2009 and reported two such priests to police. He called the grand jury report ‘s findings “equally appalling and heartbreaking.”
Rhoades also said he’d release the names of every priest removed from the ministry in his The Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese “as a result of a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.”
The Associated Press contributed to this story.