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Accused Priest Resigns Post at University

October 08, 2003|From Associated Press

NEW ORLEANS — The president of Loyola University in New Orleans resigned Tuesday after he was accused of sexual misconduct while he was at a Jesuit prep school in Indianapolis in 1986.

The Rev. Bernard Knoth, a Jesuit priest, submitted his resignation to the Roman Catholic college under new church rules that say if a sexual allegation involving a minor is deemed credible, the accused should be removed immediately.

Knoth, 54, president of Loyola since 1995, issued a statement denying inappropriate conduct.

The Rev. William J. Byron was named acting president. Byron, dean at Loyola in the 1970s, writes a syndicated column for Catholic News Service.

Byron said that if the allegations are proved, this is "another event in a series of tragic events that comprise the greatest crisis the church has had to deal with."

A statement from the Jesuit order's Chicago Province said the sexual encounter allegedly happened at the Brebeuf Jesuit Preparatory School, which teaches both boys and girls. It did not say whether Knoth's accuser was a man or a woman.

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