June 20, 2013

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---- — Fort Wayne parish priest removed

FORT WAYNE (AP) — A Catholic priest who took over a Fort Wayne parish after its pastor was accused of sexually abusing a minor has been removed from public ministry himself for allegedly abusing a minor in Africa some 20 years ago.

Fort Wayne-South Bend Bishop Kevin Rhodes took the action June 10 against the Rev. Cornelius Ryan after being notified of “a credible allegation of sexual abuse of a minor” by the South Bend-based U.S. Province of the Congregation of the Holy Cross, the diocese said in a statement released Wednesday.

“Bishop Rhoades was advised that the abuse is claimed to have taken place approximately twenty years ago in Africa, where Father Ryan then served,” the diocese said.

“In accord with the laws of the Church, Father Ryan has been removed from public ministry. The Congregation of Holy Cross is handling this matter according to its policies and the Church’s norms,” the statement said.

The statement did not include any details of the alleged abuse or where in Africa it occurred, and it referred requests for additional information to the congregation. A telephone message seeking additional information and comment was left with the congregation’s South Bend office.

Lafayette-area Cub Scouts lose home

DAYTON (AP) — A Lafayette-area Cub Scout pack has found a new charter home days after a church severed ties with it over the Boy Scouts of America’s decision to extend membership to openly gay youth.

Pack 3316 has found a new charter home at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Dayton.

The Lafayette Journal and Courier reports the church’s board voted unanimously Tuesday to become the new charter organization for the scouts.

The administrative council of Dayton United Methodist Church voted to sever its ties with the pack on June 11.

An Assemblies of God church in Whiteland, south of Indianapolis, also recently stopped its sponsorship of a Cub Scout pack following the national Boy Scouts decision to allow openly gay youths to join.

Church to remove Virgin Mary statue

ST. JOHN (AP) — A church’s plan for moving a 15-foot-tall marble Virgin Mary statue from its spot along a northwestern Indiana highway after nearly six decades has opponents threatening a court fight.

St. John the Evangelist Catholic parish leaders want to move the marble statue from U.S. 41 in the Lake County town of St. John and swap it with a 33-foot-tall metal St. Mary statue that is now outside the church about a half mile away.

Brad Wachter, whose grandfather had the marble statue erected in 1954, said the group Save Our Lady has hired an attorney and is prepared to file a lawsuit against the Marian Wayside Shrine Foundation and appeal to Catholic Church officials in Rome to block the move.

“Our attorneys are seeking a meeting with the foundation board to explain the laws they are about to violate and urging them to stop the moving cranes,” Wachter told The Times of Munster.

INDOT proposes tolls for Illiana Expressway

PEOTONE, Ill. (AP) — Transportation officials in Illinois have proposed that the planned Illiana Expressway be a tollway.

The SouthtownStar reports that the Illinois Department of Transportation unveiled a revised plan for the expressway on Tuesday during a public hearing in Peotone. The 47-mile route will go from Interstate 55 in Wilmington to Interstate 65 in Indiana.

The new proposal also includes two more interchanges, bringing the total to eight in Illinois and three in Indiana.

Another hearing is planned for October. Then IDOT will create a draft environmental impact statement before getting more feedback and writing a final plan for the tollway. Land acquisition and construction could start in 2015. Construction is expected to take three years, with the tollway opening by 2018.