Myers under fire for Peoria record

(NCR) Newark, N.J., Archbishop John J. Myers, already under fire for the lax supervision of a priest who was under court order not to minister to youth, faces new questions concerning his handling of clergy sex abuse allegations while he was bishop in Peoria, Ill., more than a decade ago.

Attorneys for abuse victim Andrew Ward announced Aug. 13 that they had reached an agreement with the Peoria diocese over a lawsuit accusing Msgr. Thomas Maloney of molesting Ward when he was a boy in the mid-1990s. The diocese settled the suit for $1.35 million. Maloney died in 2009 at age 73.

Records released as part of the agreement show the Peoria diocese received complaints about Maloney’s inappropriate conduct with children in 1995 and 1999, but that in 2000 Myers wrote to a family that the diocese had no record of complaints against Maloney.

That same year, Myers nominated Maloney for the honorific “monsignor.”

In a 2010 deposition, also unsealed as part of the settlement, Myers said he never had any suspicions of sexual abuse on Maloney’s part, but acknowledged “there may have been things that got by me” and describes the administration of diocesan records in his time in Peoria as a “loose system.” [more]