Diocese adds two more names to list of priests ‘credibly accused’ of sexually abusing minors

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend has added the names of two priests to the list it released last month of 18 priests and deacons who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor.

The two priests who have served in the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend and have been credibly accused of at least one act of sexual abuse of a minor are Michael Paquet, osc, and Bruce A. Schutt. Two more allegations have been added to the previously released name of Elden Miller.

The amended list was developed with the assistance of the Diocesan Review Board, which was established to assist the bishop in complying with the requirements of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People and The Essential Norms. The Diocesan Review Board is comprised of mostly lay people and its members assess all allegations of sexual abuse of minors by priests and deacons presented in this diocese.

The addition of Paquet and Schutt were the result of further analysis by the Diocesan Review Board and Bishop Rhoades of additional information received by the diocese regarding open investigations. Michael Paquet was previously named by his religious order, The Crosier Fathers, as someone against whom credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors were made. The number of allegations with respect to Elden Miller, as originally released on Sept. 18, was corrected; the original number included on the list was an error. The spelling of Miller’s first name was corrected as well.

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The amendment to the list with these new names was not the result of new allegations or accusations of abuse incidents. The entire list of names of those credibly accused in its entirety can also be found on the diocesan website.

A “credible accusation” against a priest or deacon of the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend is an accusation that, after a thorough investigation and review of available information, appears more likely true than not in the judgement of the Diocesan Review Board, and is accepted as credible by the bishop.

Paquet, subject of one allegation, was ordained on May 28, 1978, removed from ecclesiastical ministry on Nov. 18, 2002 and dismissed from the clerical state on Sept. 16, 2005. His assignments were: Crosier Assignments outside the Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, 1978-1979; Ministry Center Retreat Director, Fort Wayne, 1979-1985; Spirit Alive TEC Youth Minister, Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend, 1983-1985; Crosier Assignments outside the Diocese, 1985-2002.

Schutt, with two allegations, was ordained on May 29, 1965 and lost his clerical state on May 9, 1975. Service included: June 15, 1965, St. Monica Parish, Mishawaka; April 20, 1968, St. John the Baptist Parish, Fort Wayne; June 15, 1968, St. Patrick Parish, Fort Wayne; June 25, 1971, chaplain, Indiana Army National Guard; July 1, 1971, Sacred Heart Parish, Fort Wayne; Oct. 2, 1972, United States Army Training Center, Fort Eustis, Va.; April 15-Dec. 31, 1974, Ministry in Diocese of LaCrosse, Wisc.;

The Diocese of Fort Wayne-South Bend stands firm in its commitment to investigate any allegation of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy and to listen to and support anyone who has been abused. Please contact Mary Glowaski, Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, mglowaski@diocesefwsb.org, 260-399-1458 or Father Mark Gurtner, JCL – Vicar General, 260-399-1422. The list may be amended again should additional information become available.