SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – Two Jesuit priests are the latest to be named in allegations of sex abuse incidents that allegedly occurred in Utah, according to a statement from the Catholic Diocese of Salt Lake City.
In a statement Friday morning, the Diocese revealed it had received “credible claims” against two Jesuit priests, Fr. Raymond Devlin and Fr. Edward J. Konat. The alleged incidents occurred in Utah in the 1980s, according to the Diocese.
Church officials said Devlin’s actions were reported in 1990 and he was removed from the ministry at that time. Devlin died in 2011. The alleged incident or incidents involving Konat were reported in 2002 and he was also removed from the minstry. Konat left Utah in 1985 and was expelled by the Jesuits, according to the statement.
The Diocese of Salt Lake City said it is committed to protecting children.
“Sexual misconduct by church personnel is an affront to human dignity and the mission of the Church. The spiritual well-being of all victims, their families, and others in the community is of particular concern to the church,” the statement read.
It was unclear Friday why the priests’ alleged actions were just now being made public.
Earlier this year, the Diocese of Salt Lake City announced it had received credible allegations of sexual abuse against 16 priests who had practiced in Utah, with approximately 34 victims between 1962 and 1994. Before that, another Utah priest was placed on administrative leave, accused of touching children inappropriately.
The Diocese reported all the claims to the Division of Child and Family Services and reaffirmed a commitment to uphold the Church’s 2002 Charter, which requires the Diocese provide abuse prevention and reporting programs, perform background checks for anyone who works with children, and offer resources for adults and children.
Bishop Oscar A. Solis said in September that any time the Church receives a claim of abuse, the accused person is “placed under temporary suspension” from their duties as a priest until an investigation is completed.
Solis said the Diocese will continue to enact a “Zero Tolerance policy,” not allowing anyone who is found guilty of abuse to return to service in the ministry.
“I encourage all parishes and Utah Catholic Schools to devote a time for prayer, healing and reconciliation,” Solis said. “Let us gather our parish community every First Friday of the month from September to December of this year … to gather for a prayer service … and remember in our intentions all victim-survivors, their families and our Church,” Solid wrote in a letter to Utah Catholics back in September.