Walkerton priest resigns following abuse allegation - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Walkerton priest resigns following abuse allegation

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Picture from "Today's Catholic" Picture from "Today's Catholic"

A Priest, who spent more than 50 years serving the Church in Indiana, resigned, amid allegations of sexual abuse.

Father James Seculoff was most recently the Pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Walkerton.

Walkerton is a small, quiet town, with the exception of church bells ringing from St. Patrick Church at the top of the hour. The people who live there, like it that way.

"It's a very safe place. Most of the time a lot of people leave their doors unlocked, their cars unlocked. Almost everybody knows everybody. It's a real small town," says Amanda Taelman, who lives a couple doors down from the church.

"It's pretty shocking. Especially in this town," says Taelman. She just learned the news that Father James Seculoff resigned, amid child molestation claims.

She says she's worried for her family. "My boyfriend has two daughters, one eleven and one ten and they like to play out in the back. There's a creek back there and they like to go back there. It's such a small town, we never think about it," says Taelman.

The Bishop of the Fort Wayne-South Bend diocese sent a letter to the parish, notifying members about the allegations against Father Seculoff saying, "The preliminary investigation has revealed sufficient evidence that sexual abuse of a minor did occur. The Diocesan Review Board reviewed this evidence and advised me in the assessment of the allegation as credible."

The Diocese says the abuse happened more than 40 years ago, but couldn't give an exact year.

An article from "Today's Catholic" in June 2012 says, Seculoff is from Fort Wayne and began his 50 years of service to the church at St. Monica Parish in Mishawaka. According to the paper, he taught moral theology at St. Joseph's High School.

Rhoades letter to the congregation added, "The norms of the Church also require that I withdraw Father Seculoff from exercising the sacred ministry and exercising the role of pastor."

The letter went on to say Seculoff voluntarily resigned from his position and officially retired.

Bishop Rhoades has assigned Father Jan Klimczyk to serve as administrator of the Parish.

If you have been the victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy and need information on how to report it, click here

 

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