Indianapolis pastor suspended over sexual misconduct allegation

Fr. Patrick Doyle (Photo: Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ)
2nd Priest Suspended After Allegation
Archbishop reaction/What's next for priests
Published:
Updated:

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A long-serving Indianapolis priest is suspended and under investigation for alleged sexual misconduct decades ago.

From Bishop Chatard High School on the northeast side to Saint Joan of Arc in the Meridian Kessler neighborhood, Father Patrick Doyle served there and other Catholic schools and churches - mostly in Indianapolis - during 44 years as a priest.

Since 2005, he's been at Nativity Parish on the southeast side.

The Archdiocese of Indianapolis said the complaint just filed against Doyle stems from alleged sexual misconduct from "several decades ago."

Ana Miranda, a parent outside the school Wednesday night said, "Is it shocking to hear? Of course. Everybody loves Father Pat, right? Yes, I really think he's innocent," her young son volunteered. "So who knows anyway. He's a good father."

But another father, Scott Casper, was concerned.

"You need to behave whatever you have going on. It's important. We all have rules and they just need to be followed whatever it is. There is right and wrong everybody knows what it is," he said.

Wednesday, as parishioners and visitors from another church school left a kickball game at Nativity, one visiting mom said, "It's horrible. It's too bad."

She said she feels for the parents of the parish.

"Yeah, I hope...children are prized and I hope they're OK," the mother said.

One longtime parish member who did not want to appear on camera said the father was a "great" man - that something that happened so long ago should just be forgotten. Then she asked, "What's happening to my church? What's happening to my church?"

But ask a parent about forgetting an alleged crime, no matter the years? No.

"You have to think of the victims when these situations happen. Whatever happened, happened. And they have to be addressed for healing purposes," Casper said.

The diocese said it received the complaint against Doyle only Tuesday and has already notified investigators.

Doyle served at Chatard from the late 1970s through the late 1980s and Saint Joan of Arc from the mid-1990s to about 2005.

He also worked at St. Patrick and Holy Rosary downtown in the late 1980s.

Doyle's assignments, as listed by the Archdiocese of Indianapolis:

  • 1975: St. Mary-St. Michael, Madison, and part-time instructor, Father Michael Shawe Memorial Jr./Sr. High School
  • 1979: Director, Christian Formation Program, Bishop Chatard High School, and part-time instructor
  • 1987: Administrator, Holy Cross, Indianapolis, and continuing as full-time instructor, Bishop Chatard High School, Indianapolis
  • 1989: Administrator, St. Patrick and Holy Rosary, Indianapolis, while continuing as administrator, Holy Cross, Indianapolis
  • 1993: Priest moderator and sacramental minister, Holy Rosary and St. Patrick, Indianapolis, while continuing as administrator, Holy Cross, Indianapolis
  • 1993: Dean, Indianapolis East Deanery
  • 1994: Sabbatical
  • 1995: Pastor, St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis
  • 1996: Dean, Indianapolis North Deanery, while continuing as pastor, St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis
  • 1999: Reappointed dean, Indianapolis North Deanery, while continuing as pastor, St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis
  • 2000: Priest moderator, St. Andrew the Apostle, Indianapolis, while continuing as pastor, St. Joan of Arc and dean, Indianapolis North Deanery
  • 2001: Reappointed pastor, St. Joan of Arc, Indianapolis, while continuing as dean, Indianapolis North Deanery and priest moderator, St. Andrew the Apostle, Indianapolis
  • 2005: Pastor, Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Indianapolis
  • 2010: Priest moderator, St. Maurice, Napoleon, while continuing as pastor, Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Indianapolis
  • 2011: Reappointed pastor, Nativity of Our Lord Jesus Christ, Indianapolis, while continuing as priest moderator, St. Maurice, Napoleon.

The statement from the archdiocese does not say where or exactly when the alleged sexual misconduct occurred.

Doyle has been prohibited from public ministry during the investigation.

Doyle is the second Indianapolis priest recently suspended over accusations.

Last week, someone came forward saying Father John Maung abused them as a child decades ago while he was serving at a Catholic church in Shelbyville. Maung denied the claim in a response exclusively to Eyewtiness News.

"I am shocked, dazed, because of the nature of the thing. I am a man - a priest giving total to helping to the kids," he said.

On the same day Eye Witness News received word of Father Maung's suspension, Archbishop Charles Thompson released an open letter calling for "renewed transparency and accountability."

He's preparing a list of all the priests in his diocese - living and dead - with a "substantiated claim" of child sex abuse.

The Archbishop says a review board is helping to compile that list for public release.

And a week later, came today's announcement of the allegation against Father Doyle.

The archdiocese also reminded victims of misconduct "by a person ministering on behalf of the Church," or those who know of a victim of misconduct, they should contact police, as well as the Archdiocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator Carla Hill.

Hill can be reached by phone at 317-236-1548 or 800-382-9836, ext. 1548, via email at chill@archindy.org or through U.S. Mail by writing to:

Carla Hill, Archdiocese of Indianapolis,
Victim Assistance Coordinator
P.O. Box 1410, Indianapolis, IN 46206-1410

Victims can also report misconduct confidentially online via Ethics Point at this website or by calling 888-393-6810.