McAlester parishioners meet with diocese


Monday, August 19th 2002, 12:00 am
By: News On 6


Catholics in McAlester hear what the Tulsa diocese has to say about the ongoing church scandal.

Father Kenneth Lewis resigned from St. John the Evangelist church in McAlester in July, and allegations of misconduct are growing. During a closed door meeting Sunday night, the Catholic Diocese addressed parishioners concerns.

Father Lewis resigned in July after allegations of sexual abuse against young boys began to surface. Lewis was an associate pastor at St Mary's Catholic Church in Tulsa in 1994 when a former church employee saw Lewis on two occasions rubbing children's backs. The diocese looked into the claims but didn't report it to the police.

Parishioners were advised not to speak to the media, but one woman had this to say about the meeting. Carol Thomas, parishioner: "There were alot of comments made but I think the nice thing was there were representatives with the diocese there. I think we have their ear and that's important. I believe everyone there tonight is supportive of the Catholic Church.”

Other parishioners say they got the answers they were looking for at the meeting.