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May 29, 2009

US priest implicated in sexual scandal

Story PictureAllegations of sexual misconduct have rocked the Catholic Church especially in the United States. Tonight there is one more case to report, but this time it is close to home. This Wednesday, reports in the international press say that a pastor of Our Lady of Guadalupe Roman Catholic Cathedral in Belmopan has been named in a sex scandal. Father Kevin Hederman and the Archdiocese of St. Louis are being sued by a man who alleges that he was sexually abused by the priest, in the early 1990s. The lawsuit claims that Hederman invited the teenager to his home at North American Martyrs Church in Florissant to minister to the teenager’s “spiritual, psychological and emotional needs.” During one visit, it is alleged that Hederman engaged in inappropriate and unwanted sexual contact. The man’s attorney said his client was seventeen at the time of the abuse. According to the article, a number of parishes in the archdiocese have taken up collections over the last decade to support Hederman’s work in Belize. In December of 2008, one of Hederman’s former students in St. Louis collected over thirteen thousand pounds of shoes on his behalf, to be distributed to needy children in Belize. Though Hederman has been temporarily removed from being active in the ministry in the U.S., he is still active at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Belmopan.

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