Diocese of Owensboro Release List of Priests With Substantiated Allegations of Sexual Abuse

Diocese of Owensboro has released a list of priests who have served in the Diocese that have a “substantiated allegation” of sexual abuse of a minor.

“Today as a Church, we seek to again acknowledge the sins of sexual abuse of children by people they should have been able to trust without reserve.” said William Medley, Bishop of the Dioceses of Owensboro.

“I apologize to all who have suffered at the hands of a priest.  For all the times when Church leaders failed to live out Christ’s call to holiness and did not do what was needed to keep you and children safe, I am sorry,” Medley said.

The list contains nine names of priest that served the Diocese of Owensboro.  The list also has names of four priests from another diocese and two priests who were ordained for Diocese but had allegations from outside the Diocese of Owensboro.

Of the 9 priests that served the Dioceses, 5 priests have already passed away.

List of Priests….9 Priests that Served the Diocese of Owensboro

  1.  Gerald Baker:  Served from 1983-2016.  Was assigned to St. John in Fordsville when he was removed from public ministry in 2016 when three allegations deemed substantiated by the Diocesan Review Board
  2. Paul Greenwell:  Served from 1932-1956.  Was assigned to St. Augustine in Reed and St. Peter in Waverly until he retired in 1956.  Multiple allegations from the 40’s and 50’s.  Passed away in 1964.
  3. Walter Hancock:  Served from 1947-1995.  He was allowed to retire in 1995 and returned to administrator at Holy Guardian Angels Parish in Irvington.  Removed from public ministry in 2002 and passed away in 2012.
  4. Gilbert Henninger:  Served from 1937 to 1941.  After passing away in 1990, multiple allegations were received after his death, but deemed substantiated.
  5. John Meredith:  Served from 1980-2013.  Was removed from public ministry in 2013 while serving Blessed Mother in Owensboro, with one allegation.
  6. Louis Piskula:  Served from 1975-2002.  Was removed from public ministry while serving as Chaplain at St. Joseph Passionist Monastery in Whitesville. In 2014, he was convicted of child sexual abuse and sentenced to prison.  Passed away in 2018.
  7. John Speaks:  Served from 1974-1995.  Removed from public ministry in 2002.
  8. Carroll Wheatley:  Served from 1975-1984.  Was a Chaplain in the U.S. Navy from 1985 to 2011, when he was removed from the public ministry.  Passed away in 2013.
  9. Henry Wieder:  Served from 1989-2003.  One allegation of sexual abuse was received in 2002 involving incident prior to ordination.

Priests from another diocese or religious order:

  1.  Joseph Alexander:  Monk at St. Maur’s Priory in South Union, Kentucky in the 1960’s. Was removed from public ministry in 2002 by Diocese of Lafayette in Louisiana. Allegation was from before he was a monk.
  2. Joseph Pilger:  Served in Diocese from 1963-1976.  13 allegations against him and convicted of child sexual abuse in 1993.  Passed away in 2003
  3. Louis Telegdy:  Served in Diocese from 1972 to 1978.  Passed away in 1995.  One allegation received by Dioceses of Owensboro after his death.  Three allegations in Diocese of Davenport, Iowa.
  4. Raymond Waldruff:  Served from 1967-1968:  Dismissed from Franciscan Order in 1983.  Deceased in 1985.

Allegations which occurred outside the Diocese of Owensboro:

  1. Paul Haas: Served in Diocese from 1966 to 1977.  Multiple allegations in Tennessee where he served.  Passed away in 1979.
  2. William Odom-Green:  Served in Diocese from 1991 to 1995.  Was serving in Diocese in Oakland, Ca in 1999 when he was removed.  Convicted and sentenced to prison.

“I apologize as well to all of you in the Diocese of Owensboro.  The sexual abuse of a child is abhorrent, and the fact that this kind of evil has been perpetrated by priests rocks our Church to its core.  For the anger, the sadness, the embarrassment, and the doubts this may have brought you, I apologize and I share in your pain and frustration.”

In addition to the release of the list, the Diocese of Owensboro has also released a link for those who want to learn more about the list and ways to report suspected child abuse: https://owensborodiocese.org/accountability/





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