CLEVELAND (AP) - The Roman Catholic Diocese of Cleveland has ordained 10 priests, its largest class since 1988.
The class is coming in at a time when one retired priest, the Rev. Daniel McBride, has pleaded guilty to paying a minor for sex and a dozen more priests are suspended and under investigation as part of a nationwide sex scandal that has shaken the Catholic church.
Three of the new priests are over 40 years old and another turns 40 next month. The diocese's vocation director, the Rev. Bob Stec, said the church has been reaching out to men 25 to 35 to enter the seminary. Seminary studies take five years or more.
"What they bring to the table is a breadth of life experience, of relationships, of understanding the ways of the world," Stec said.
The diocese's 350 active priests serve about 800,000 Catholics in 235 parishes throughout Cuyahoga, Ashland, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne counties.
Adding 10 priests "is a good shot in the arm," Stec said. The class, which graduated from St. Mary Seminary in Wickliffe, is the third-largest class in the country, behind Chicago and Philadelphia.