The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops says the failure of the Jefferson City diocese to tell church officials of one priest’s sexual abuse of children was a “travesty,” and a “violation of prudent pastoraljudgment.” The priest, Father Anthony O’Connell, later became the Bishop of the Palm Beach, Florida, diocese. He resigned last week when the St. Louis Post-Dispatch ran an article about the abuse issue. The Jefferson City diocese paid the boy $125,000 in 1996 not to pursue the issue further. The incident happened 25 years ago when O’Connell was working in Hannibal.
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