Carmel priest suspended after diocese receives allegations of inappropriate conduct with a minor

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A Catholic priest at a Carmel church has been suspended from public ministry after the Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana received allegations of inappropriate conduct with a minor.

The diocese declined to provide details about the allegations against Father James De Oreo but stated that an investigation is ongoing. De Oreo was ordained in 2018 and started an assignment as parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mt. Carmel in August 2020. The suspension began March 11.

The allegations have been reported to Indiana Child Protective Services. Criminal charges have not been filed.

“The safety and wellbeing of our children and young people are of the utmost importance,” the diocese said in a statement. “We all share a commitment to be part of the Church’s mission to respect and protect people of every age. We invite you to join us in prayer for the healing guidance of the Holy Spirit on behalf of all who have been victims of abuse.”

The diocese is asking anyone aware of misconduct during De Oreo’s ministry as a priest or seminarian to make a report to CPS by calling 800-800-5556 or local law enforcement. They are also encouraged to contact Jackie Montrie, victim assistance coordinator for the diocese, at 765-464-4988.


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