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Diocese Faces Sex Abuse Allegations From Early 1970s

A man has filed suit against the Diocese of Arizona and one of its parishes, saying the church did not respond sufficiently to allegations that he was molested by a priest in the early 1970s.

Charles Taylor alleges that he was sexually molested repeatedly at about age 12 by the Rev. Richard Babcock, a priest at what is now Grace St. Paul Church in Tucson, and that he reported the abuse to the church at the time. Babcock has since died, and was forced to renounce his priestly orders in 1979 after two other boys made allegations of sexual abuse.

Episcopal News Service reports that the current Bishop of Arizona, the Rt. Rev. Jennifer Reddall, says there is no record that the diocese learned of Taylor’s allegations until 1991, years after Babcock left the ministry.

“To the best of our knowledge, the diocese handled it in 1979 appropriately for 1979. One question we still have is we don’t know if it was reported to the police or not at that time,” she said. “But the priest was removed immediately and never regained his orders.”

ENS has more on the story.

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