Catholic Diocese releases sexual misconduct report

    Bishop Andrew Bellisario during a recent visit to Action Line.

    Juneau, Alaska (KINY) - The report found six priests and one religious brother allegedly engaged in certain acts of sexual misconduct in the diocese since 1951.

    Bishop Andrew Bellisario released the names in a letter to the diocese today.  They are Francis Cowgill, Javier Gutierrez, Patrick Hurley, Michael Nash, Edmund Penisten, Frederick Raehsler, and Henry Leo Sweeney.

    An independent review was appointed by the Bishop.  They included Lt. Kris Sell, a retired Juneau Police officer, and retired Judges Keith Levy and Thomas Nave.

    Bishop Bellisario said the work of the commission was an effort to find the truth, "The truth is important and necessary if there is ever to be healing for victim-survivors and for our Church."

    Bellisario wrote in the letter that there were no words that can restore the innocence to survivors of clerical sexual abuse.  "That your trust was betrayed by a priest or other minister of the Church whom you had a right to expect would protect you compounded the harm done to you.  It is with humility, sorrow, and shame, that I apologize to you, your family, friends and community in the name of the church for the grievous harm you suffered." 




    More from News of the North