Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS

CNN TV
EDITIONS





CNN SATURDAY MORNING NEWS

Catholic Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse Commits Suicide

Aired May 18, 2002 - 07:06   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: The Roman Catholic Church is also reeling from the apparent suicide of another one of its alleged pedophile priests.

Jason Carroll with that.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

JASON CARROLL, CNN CORRESPONDENT (voice-over): Father Alfred Bietighofer is the latest priest accused of sexual abuse in the crisis surrounding the Catholic Church. But at 64, Bietighofer was apparently fighting his own internal crisis, a battle he lost on Thursday.

BISHOP WILLIAM LORI, BRIDGEPORT DIOCESE: Many parishioners mourn the death of Father Bietighofer, the distressing circumstances surrounding his death...

CARROLL: A nurse found Bietighofer's body in his room at St. Luke's Psychiatric Center in Silver Spring, Maryland. He apparently had hanged himself. Last month, Bietighofer was stripped of his priestly duties and ordered to undergo a psychiatric evaluation, this after two men accused him of abusing them when they were children two decades ago.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They would be pulled up into the rectory or into a bedroom and asked to pull their pants down and would be fondled by this particular priest.

CARROLL: Bietighofer served the church for more than 30 years. Most recently he was assistant pastor at St. Andrew Church in Bridgeport, Connecticut.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I thought it was terrible. It was terrible.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: He was a very nice priest, you know, really very nice.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I'm thinking that he probably didn't commit suicide because of what he did but because of the fact that now everybody knew. So it was more humility than guilt.

CARROLL: Bishop Lori says Bietighofer told him just a few weeks ago he was committed to the ministry and ready to move forward. His death marks the second time in two months a priest has committed suicide because of a sex scandal. In April, a priest in Cleveland, Ohio, shot himself after allegations of abuse surfaced there.

(on camera): When asked what could be learned from all of this, Bishop Lori said, "Every person has worth and dignity in God's eyes." But he also said despite what has happened, he said that the clergy cannot veer from the path of dealing with this crisis in the church.

Jason Carroll, CNN, Bridgeport, Connecticut.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top