Bishop Rhoades Addresses St. Joe-Hessen Cassel Parishioners; Appoints New Administrator

By Emily Dwire
By Rachel Martin

June 22, 2013 Updated Jun 24, 2013 at 9:23 AM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (www.incnow.tv) – Saint Joseph Catholic Church-Hessen Cassel continues to try and heal after Fr. Cornelius Ryan, CSC, was removed from ministry after being accused of sexual abuse.

Saturday night, Bishop Kevin Rhoades of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, celebrated Mass at the church. He told the congregation they're not alone, and he's been praying for them every day.

The Bishop was notified on June 10 of a "credible allegation" that Father Ryan had sexually abused a minor 20 years ago while serving in Africa.

When officials with the Congregation of Holy Cross, who is conducting the investigation, confronted Father Ryan with the allegations he immediately and freely admitted the allegations made against him.

Bishop Rhoades wasted no time coming to the church in its time of need.

“In the 8 years that he's been a Bishop he's never experienced this. And of course this Parish hasn't either. So again, for everyone involved, this is such a shock and such a traumatic event that it's time to gather as a community and pray for healing,” said Sean McBride, spokesperson for the Fort Wayne-South Bend Diocese.

Bishop Rhoades announced at the Mass on Saturday evening that Fr. William Kummer will be the new administrator of Saint Joseph Hessen Cassel beginning July 18.

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