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INDIANAPOLIS – The names of several priests accused of sexually abusing children at Brebeuf High School in Indianapolis and churches in Gary and French Lick has been released by Midwest Jesuits.


The Midwest Province of the Society of Jesus says the list includes the names of 65 accused priests who have had an “established allegation of sexual abuse of a minor” since 1955.


Three of the priests once worked at Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School:


  • Donald O’Shaughnessy had at least one reported incident with a minor at the school in the 1960s.  He died in 2013.


  • Bernard Knoth had at least one reported incident with a minor at the school from 1986 to 1988. He was dismissed in 2009.


  • Michael Dorrler had at least one reported incident with a minor at the school in 1990.  He was permanently removed from public ministry.


Two other priests who once worked in Indiana are also on the list:


  • Thomas Gannon had at least one reported incident at St. James Church in Gary, Indiana in 1983.  He also had incidents reported at three other churches in Cleveland and Chicago between 1961 and 1988.  Gannon died in 2011.


  • Charles Sullivan had at least one incident that was reported after his death in 1996.  It happened at Our Lady of the Springs Church in French Lick, Indiana between 1958 and 1959.


Forty-three of the priests listed in the report are dead.


Father Bill Verbryke  with Brebeuf Jesuit released a statement, in part, that said:


“The list is being released in an effort to be transparent about the past, to precipitate victims who desire assistance and make the intent to protect youth unmistakable.


“We have a zero-tolerance policy regarding incidents of inappropriate conduct with minors or vulnerable adults. If a student at Brebeuf Jesuit should ever make a sexual abuse claim, we would swiftly and immediately report the incident to law enforcement, the appropriate child protective agency, and the U.S. Midwest Province. We would fully cooperate with the investigation and would also provide pastoral, ministerial care to the victim.”


The new list comes after the Archdiocese of Indianapolis released the names in October of more than 20 priests who have at least one “credible” claim of sex abuse of a child or adolescent against them while associated with the archdiocese.  The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend released its list in September of priests who have been “credibly” accused of sexually abusing minors.  The Diocese of Evansville says it is releasing its list in early 2019.



Photo: Getty Images / Roberto Machado Noa