Another Priest From Cleveland Diocese Suspended

CLEVELAND (AP) - The Cleveland Roman Catholic Diocese on Thursday suspended another priest in connection with sex abuse allegations.

The Rev. David Weber, rector of St. John Cathedral in downtown Cleveland, was placed on administrative leave, pending review of allegations that he sexually abused a minor.

Ten other priests have been suspended in the last two weeks because of similar allegations.

St. John Cathedral is the most prestigious pulpit in the diocese. The cathedral is where bishops are consecrated, priests are ordained and major community celebrations are held.

Weber served at St. John since the mid-1990s. His other parish assignments have included St. Albert the Great in North Royalton, St. Jerome in Cleveland, and St. Ann in Cleveland Heights.

The diocese also said Thursday that recent reports that it was not producing all the information subpoenaed by the Cuyahoga County prosecutor's office in connection with a grand jury investigation of the allegations were incorrect.

"We are cooperating fully with the prosecutor in his investigation of these matters, and we will be producing records responsive to the subpoena," a news release issued by the diocese said.

"The prosecutor has requested that we maintain the confidentiality of the grand jury inquiry. We intend to honor that request and therefore will make no further comment regarding the pending grand jury investigation," the release said.

The diocese has 235 parishes with more than 800,000 Catholics and about 340 priests in Ashland, Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Summit and Wayne counties.

A national examination of child sex abuse cases among priests has intensified since January, with the disclosure in Boston that former priest John Geoghan was moved from parish to parish after being accused. Since January, several dozen priests out of more than 47,000 nationwide have been suspended or forced to resign.

(Copyright 2002 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)