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Assignment Record– Rev. Freddie Byrd

Summary of Case: Freddie Byrd was ordained a priest of the Owensboro KY diocese in 1988. He worked in a number of parishes and, beginning in 1997, pastored several. He was a faculty member in the late 1980s at Owensboro Catholic High School, and at St. Meinrad Seminary in IN during the 1990s. In 2008 a 23-year-old man shot and killed himself outside of Blessed Mother parish, where Byrd was pastor. The man left a suicide note in which he said he experienced "pain and torment" because of sexual abuse in the Catholic church. He mentioned Byrd, and said of him, "I forgive you." He did not name Byrd as an abuser. In June 2016 Byrd was suspended from ministry due to allegations that he had sexually abused a 17-year-old boy in 1983, prior to ordination. In September 2016 he was reinstated after the Diocesan Review Board determined that there was "insufficient information to substantiate the allegation."


Ordained
: 1988

   

Start Stop Assignments Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1988

Diocese of Owensboro

Bishop was John Jeremiah McRaith (1982-2009).

1990 St. Stephen's Cathedral Owensboro KY 4/4, 3/3

 

 

1988 1990 Owensboro Catholic High School Owensboro KY   Owensboro Catholic had 691-631 students.
1990 1992 Blessed Mother Owensboro KY 2/3 Blessed Mother had a CCD program with 115 students.

1992

Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Archbishop was Daniel Marck Buechlein, O.S.B. (1992-2011).

1997 St. Meinrad Seminary - College of Liberal Arts St. Meinrad IN    
1997 1998 SS Joseph and Paul Owensboro KY 1/1  

1998

Diocese of Owensboro

Bishop was John Jeremiah McRaith (1982-2009).

2008 Blessed Mother Owensboro KY 1/3, 1/4

Blessed Mother had a CCD program with 95-89 students.

In 2008 a young man shot and killed himself outside of Blessed Mother parish. He left a suicide note on Facebook which said of Byrd, "I forgive you." He spoke of "pain and torment" over sex abuse in the Church, but did not name a perpetrator.

2008

McRaith was succeeded as Owensboro bishop by William Francis Medley (Dec. 2009-).

2012 Sacred Heart Waverly KY 1/1 Sacred Heart had a CCD program with 10-5 students.
2008 2012 St. Peter's Waverly KY 1/1 St. Peter's had a CCD program with 56-36 students.
2012 2016 St. Ann's Morganfield KY 1/1

St. Ann's had a CCD program with 40-62 students.

Byrd was suspended from ministry in June 2016 due to allegations that he had sexually abused a 17-year-old boy in 1983, prior to ordination.

In September 2016 Byrd was reinstated. Per the Diocesan Review Board, "On September 14, 2016 the Diocesan Review Board further explored the information that has been compiled and counseled the bishop that there was insufficient information to substantiate the allegation."

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Source: Official Catholic Directory (Kenedy & Sons, 1989-2014).

Outside Investigator to Examine Facebook Posts on Priest Abuse, By Beth Wilberding, Lexington Herald-Leader, February 8, 2011
No Indictments Made in Owensboro Suicide Note Accusations, By Western Kentucky, Tristate Homepage, August 4, 2011
Statements to Police in Alleged Abuse Case Conflict with Report by Owensboro Diocese, By Peter Smith, The Courier-Journal, September 21, 2011
Owensboro Diocese Suspends Western Ky. Priest Over Sexual Allegation, By Lisa Autry, WKMS, June 14, 2016
Diocese Suspends Pastor After Sexual Abuse Allegations, ABC News, June 14, 2016
Morganfield Priest Reinstated after Investigation, Tristate Homepage, September 19, 2016


Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Byrd's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with the allegations against him, as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegations we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on September 26, 2016.


 
 

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