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Toledo Priest Removed Over Sexual Abuse Allegations

Dec 10, 2002 | AP A Roman Catholic priest has been removed from ministry over allegations that he sexually abused more than one boy in Allen County in the 1970s, the Catholic Diocese of Toledo said.

Bishop James Hoffman banned the Rev. Neil C. Lucas from ministry after meeting with him on Saturday.

The priest did not deny the allegations, the Rev. Michael Billian, a diocese spokesman, said in a statement.

Lucas could not be reached for comment. A message was left Tuesday at his church and there was no telephone listing for him.

A review board heard allegations Thursday against Lucas and recommended that he be removed.

Lucas, 64, served three assignments from 1973 to 1978 in Allen County as administrator of St. Mary Parish in Bluffton, chaplain of Bluffton College and instructor at Lima Central Catholic High School.

He most recently was appointed as associate pastor of St. Clement Catholic Church in Toledo.

Lucas had been a priest since 1967 and had served in three other Toledo churches. He also taught at Toledo Central Catholic High School.

Lucas is the sixth Toledo diocesan priest removed from ministry since July and the first removed at the recommendation of the review board that formed in November.

A priest removed from ministry cannot celebrate or administer the sacraments, use the title "Father" or "Reverend," wear clerical garb or present himself as a priest.

said.

Bishop James Hoffman banned the Rev. Neil C. Lucas from ministry after meeting with him on Saturday.

The priest did not deny the allegations, the Rev. Michael Billian, a diocese spokesman, said in a statement.

Lucas could not be reached for comment. A message was left Tuesday at his church and there was no telephone listing for him.

A review board heard allegations Thursday against Lucas and recommended that he be removed.

Lucas, 64, served three assignments from 1973 to 1978 in Allen County as administrator of St. Mary Parish in Bluffton, chaplain of Bluffton College and instructor at Lima Central Catholic High School.

He most recently was appointed as associate pastor of St. Clement Catholic Church in Toledo.

Lucas had been a priest since 1967 and had served in three other Toledo churches. He also taught at Toledo Central Catholic High School.

Lucas is the sixth Toledo diocesan priest removed from ministry since July and the first removed at the recommendation of the review board that formed in November.

A priest removed from ministry cannot celebrate or administer the sacraments, use the title "Father" or "Reverend," wear clerical garb or present himself as a priest.

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