Journal Says Church Aware of Sex Abuse
Journal Says Church Aware of Sex AbuseFeb 12, 2003 | UPI A journal kept by a priest who struggled against his sexual attraction to children indicates the archdiocese was well aware of the problem long ago and chose to deal with it in private.
The 246-page journal was kept by the Rev. Louis E. Miller, who underwent 12 years of therapy to deal with his problem. The journal, obtained by the Louisville Courier-Journal, indicates the Archdiocese of Louisville knew of Miller's problem when they transferred him to another parish in 1961 following molestation complaints.
The archdiocese has maintained it was unaware of any molestation or archdiocesean intervention before 1989.
Miller, 72, has been charged with molesting 29 children and is named in 83 lawsuits filed against the archdiocese.
Miller, who was ordained in 1956 and said he began abusing boys between the ages of 12 and 15 in 1960, kept the journal between 1990 and 2002 and described his struggle against pedophelia.
"My offenses have crushed me; damaged my priesthood, my family, my friends, parishioners, fellow priests and children that were not offended but know of my offenses," he wrote.
Miller wrote he offered to resign from the priesthood in 1961 but then-Archbishop John Floersh discouraged him from doing so, instead issuing a reprimand and directing Miller to seek psychiatric help. He was removed from parishes four times after abuse allegations were made.
The journal indicates Miller himself was abused when he was just 4 or 5 and said he understands his alleged victims' anger. He recounted his "frustration over celibacy" and regrets over never having married or produced children.
"I knew I was sick," Miller wrote in recounting a 1975 incident in which he admitted masturbating with a boy at St. Aloysius Catholic Church in Pewee Valley.
Later, he wrote: "I am only in recovery and will never be immune, nor will children be safe from me."
In the journal, Miller admitted abusing a young girl as well as having an affair with a woman in 1972.
Miller has said he stopped abusing children in 1985. He was not removed from parish duties until 1990.