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Diocese Closes Posthumous Inquiry

The Rt. Rev. Jennifer Baskerville-Burrows, Bishop of Indianapolis, writes about charges of sexual abuse by the Rev. James K. Taylor, a priest of the diocese, who died in 2011:

In November, I wrote to you about a complaint of sexual abuse my office had received against the Rev. James K. Taylor, a priest of our diocese from 1961 until 1987 who died in 2011. I reported that our chancellors, our intake officer and I were investigating the complaint, which was made by a man who was a preteen when the alleged abuse occurred in 1977 at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bloomington.

We have now completed our investigation. I am particularly grateful for the cooperation of those who knew both the Rev. Taylor and the complainant, and for the hard work of our chancellors and the Rev. Suzanne Wille, our diocesan intake officer for disciplinary matters. I am also grateful for the complainant’s cooperation throughout this process. The available evidence indicates that a single instance of inappropriate conduct may well have taken place. We have not received other allegations of abuse against the Rev. Taylor, and so this investigation will now be closed. As always, I remain available to speak with anyone who wishes to discuss this or any other issues related to sexual misconduct, abuse or harassment.

Misconduct of any kind is a serious violation of the sacred trust given to clergy to care for and respect the people of God. On behalf of the church, I offer a heartfelt apology to everyone whose trust in the church has been violated. Please know that I am committed to seeking God’s healing and reconciliation with the complainant in this case and all those who are hurt and angered by this news.

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