Sacramento bishop suspends retired priest accused of abuse

Bishop Jaime Soto directs Msgr. Murrough Wallace "to withdraw from ministry until more facts can be gathered" after anonymous accuser uses press conference to make allegations

Msgr. Murrough Wallace (image from Diocese of Sacramento)

The Diocese of Sacramento released a statement following a news conference this morning by Attorney Joe George concerning two priests of the Sacramento diocese and the upcoming publication by the diocese of a list of credibly accused priests who have served in Sacramento diocese. The following statement [excerpted] is from Fr. Michael Vaughan, vicar general of the Diocese of Sacramento:

“Our diocese is conducting a comprehensive audit of all previous cases involving accusations of child sexual abuse by priests. We are working with independent consultant Kathleen McChesney, a former deputy assistant director of the FBI, and we expect her review to be completed and the list released in March.

“The information presented at a press conference today had not previously been shared with our diocese. We have reached out to Mr. Doe through his attorney in hopes of learning any information that would allow us to investigate and take appropriate action. We also have offered to provide whatever assistance Mr. Doe may find helpful.

“In light of the allegation raised today by Mr. Doe, Bishop Soto has directed Msgr. Murrough Wallace, retired pastor of St. Theresa Parish in South Lake Tahoe, to withdraw from ministry until more facts can be gathered.

“We are prepared to re-open or re-evaluate all cases when new information comes to light. We would do this using today’s standards, not the ones in place when the abuse occurred. And, we would do this guided by our belief that the safety of the young and vulnerable is our undisputed priority, and that no instance of sexual abuse can be tolerated.”

Full story at Diocese of Sacramento.

More details of the allegations against Msgr. Wallace here.

Comments

  1. Yes, suspend the Msgr pending an investigation. After he has an opportunity to rebut the accusation, and the facts warrant, suspend him permanently.

  2. Simon of Simony says:

    Bishop Soto:

    Have you been able to transfer the assets in sufficient time to protect them from attachment for civil judgments and criminal fines?

  3. It never ends. On and on. Opening old wounds and pouring salt on them. Why are dioceses so eager to mention that they are all working with former FBI investigators? I think the bishops are feeling inadequate and they believe saying FBI gives them and their efforts credibility because people have more confidence in FBI personnel than in the clergy.

  4. Transferring assets to avoid secular penalties, in my opinion, is almost as bad as transferring abusing priests to avoid justice.

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COMMENTS POLICY: Comments are limited to 750 characters and will be truncated at 750. Comments should not contain offensive or libelous language. Please strive to be civil. All comments are subject to approval by our moderator and to editing as the moderator deems appropriate. Inclusion of your email address is optional.