Child sexual abuse substantiated against ex-Oklahoma priest

Child sexual abuse substantiated against ex-Oklahoma priest

Archbishop Paul S. Coakley of Oklahoma City listens to a speaker during the fall general assembly of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops in Baltimore Nov. 12, 2019. (Credit: Bob Roller/CNS.)

The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said Monday it has substantiated an allegation of child sexual abuse against another priest.

OKLAHOMA CITY — The Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said Monday it has substantiated an allegation of child sexual abuse against another priest.

The archdiocese said in a news release that Father Papa-Rao Pasala admitted to “inappropriate though not-yet criminal advances” with a 17-year-old in 2001 when he was assigned to a church in Edmond for one month before returning to his native India.

The archdiocese said it notified the Diocese of Baker in Oregon, where Pasala was serving as pastor and that the Oregon diocese removed him from the ministry on Dec. 6. Oklahoma City archdiocese spokeswoman Diane Clay said Pasala has returned to India for disciplinary action by the Diocese of Nellore and had no way of contacting him for comment.

The Diocese of Baker said in a news release that Pasala “will no longer be allowed to minister in the United States.”

The release from Msgr. Richard O. Fischer, vicar general of the Diocese of Baker, said there have been no allegations against Pasala during his time there, where he had served since 2014 after returning to the U.S. from India.

In a report released in October, the Archdiocese of Oklahoma City said allegations of child sexual abuse had been substantiated against 11 of its clerics from 1960 to 2018.

The archdiocese said the allegation against Pasala was not substantiated during the previous investigation. The archdiocese’s list of those with substantiated sex abuse allegations says Pasala served at St. Monica Catholic Church in Edmond.

The Diocese of Tulsa and Eastern Oklahoma also released a list of 11 clerics who were found to have credible child sexual abuse allegations against them dating to 1973.


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