Owensboro priest responds to reinstatement by Vatican

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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WEHT) – An Owensboro priest at the center of sexual abuse allegations talks about his recent reinstatement.

Father Ed Bradley was reinstated by the Vatican late last week, two years after he was accused twice of sexual abuse of a minor.

“I was overwhelmed with the news,” he said, recalling how he reacted to the reinstatement by the Vatican of his duties, which were restricted following two claims of sexual abuse made two years ago from his time working at Owensboro Catholic High School in the 1980s.

“It was the last thing on my bed at night before I fall asleep and it was the first thing on my mind in the morning,” he said.

The Diocese of Owensboro received the allegations in spring of 2019, and a Diocese Review Board found the allegations credible. Fr. Bradley appealed after the temporary suspension was made permanent by the diocese. Owensboro Police investigated the claims, but no charges were filed against him after prosecutors say the claims weren’t supported by evidence.

“I took a polygraph in Louisville from an FBI person that did that for the FBI for years and is now in private practice. I did everything I could do to prove that I was innocent,” said Fr. Bradley.

However, Vatican officials said in their words given the imprudent behavior of the cleric throughout the course of his ministry in education, they will prohibit him to enter any primary or secondary school for five years. Fr. Bradley says he didn’t have anything to say to his accusers, and doesn’t blame the church for their actions.

“If anyone had qualms, if they do have qualms, and I hope they tell me and let me talk to them about it,” he said.

A spokesperson for the Diocese of Owensboro tells us Bishop William Medley and the diocese have no further comment on the reinstatement.

(This story was originally published on April 27, 2021)

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