Duluth Retired Priest's View: 'Yes, I am angry!': Alleged abuse did not happen

I am a priest who has served in the Diocese of Duluth for more than 52 years. I have been an associate pastor and the assigned pastor in many parishes, and now, as a retired priest, I continue to help out in parishes almost every weekend.

I have never before written to the News Tribune. However, the Aug. 6 story, "Diocese names two Duluth priests as 'credibly accused'," compelled this response. That this article came out just two weeks before a court trial involving Fr. William Graham did not seem coincidental.

Fr. Graham was accused more than two years ago, in May 2016, of sexual abuse decades earlier. The accusation came hours before a window of opportunity to sue elapsed.

I personally was shocked and upset. I contacted Bishop Paul D. Sirba and asked what this was about. He told me it was confidential and he could not discuss the details with me.

The Aug. 6 News Tribune article said Fr. Graham was found by the diocese to be "credibly accused." I was even more shocked at how there seemed to be no evidence.
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