US archdiocese clears priests of sexual abuse allegations

The Indianapolis archdiocese cleared a priest and a former priest of sexual molestation claims made by a former altar boy.

The Rev. Carlton J. Beever, 57, was reinstated Sunday and celebrated Masses at St. Philip Neri Parish in Indianapolis after 18 months on unpaid leave. A Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Indianapolis official told his congregation that Beever was innocent of allegations, which the review board did not find credible.

Beever and Thomas J. Amsden, 64, a former priest who resigned from the ministry in 1995, have maintained their innocence since a man sued them in July 2004, claiming both had abused him while he was an altar boy at St. Mary Parish in Greensburg in the 1970s.

An archdiocesan review board recommended last week that the two be cleared, and Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein agreed, said Greg Otolski, a spokesman for the archdiocese said Tuesday.

"It is regrettable that Father Beever and Tom Amsden have had to live through such a painful experience," Buechlein said in a statement. "They will need our prayers and support."

No criminal charges were filed, reports AP.


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