Henderson CountyKentuckyOwensboro

Community Reacts to Priest Proposed Suspension

A permanent suspension has been recommended for a priest accused of sex abuse against a minor. On Wednesday, Bishop William Medley submitted a report to the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in the Vatican, recommending that Fr. Joseph Edward Bradley’s temporary suspension from the public ministry be made permanent.

He was a prominent leader in both Henderson and Owensboro. A safe haven for women and children was even named after Fr. Bradley.

After the allegations were made, the Father Bradley Shelter says they are not sure whether they will keep the name.

44News asked how keeping the name would impact the community’s support, but shelter officials refused to answer.

Both allegations of sexual abuse date back to the 1980’s when Fr. Bradley was the dean of students and then principal of Owensboro Catholic High School. 44News spoke to a woman who had children enrolled at Owensboro High School during that time. She chose to remain anonymous.

She and her children were shocked when they heard about these allegations of sex abuse.

“He’s just always been a gentleman,” says the mother. “He’s always been a good man in my eyes but things happen.”

Fr. Bradley was Henderson’s distinguished citizen in 2007.

In Owensboro, he has been involved with the Daniel Pitino Shelter. He has also been a chaplain at Owensboro Catholic High School since 2011. 44News asked the school if he is still employed and they refused to answer. We also asked the Diocese of Owensboro if he’s living in church housing, but no one could give us a direct answer.

Fr. Bradley does maintain his innocence. The final decision by the Vatican has not been rendered.

To report suspected abuse, call the Kentucky Child Protection Hot Line: 1-877-KYSAFE1 or 1-877-597-2331 or contact your local Commonwealth Attorney.

To watch or read previous reports on this story, you can click here.

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