(Las Vegas Review-Journal) A Las Vegas Episcopal priest resigned from his duties at a local church Thursday after his name surfaced in a lawsuit alleging a Missouri monastery covered up sexual abuse by him. The lawsuit, filed in Missouri by a former choir boy, alleges the Roman Catholic monastery, Conception Abbey, kept secret the boy’s 1987 sexual assault by Bede Parry, then a Catholic priest who directed the choir.
Parry, 69, who was not named as a defendant in the lawsuit, had been serving as the organist and choir director at All Saints’ Episcopal Church in Las Vegas since 2000.
He said he informed the Episcopal Diocese of Nevada of his resignation as the Missouri suit became public Thursday morning.
Bishop Dan Edwards, who heads the Nevada diocese, confirmed the resignation and said that because Parry remains a priest, the diocese is conducting an internal investigation to determine whether any further action needs to be taken against him.
“Certainly we regard this situation with grave concern,” Edwards said. “We will need to be sure we are following the right process to be fair to all concerned.”
Parry said he also asked the diocese to relieve him of his priest duties.
“I feel terrible for anybody that I’ve hurt,” he said. “I feel terrible that my actions would cause a lawsuit to be filed against the abbey, and I feel terrible about letting down my friends and the diocese here.”
Parry did not deny the 1987 incident in Missouri, and said the abbey sent him to New Mexico afterward for several months of treatment.
But Parry insisted that he has had no other sexual incidents with minors since then, including during his time in Las Vegas.
Edwards said Parry’s work at All Saints’ has “not involved contact with youth or children.”
The former choir boy, identified only as John Doe 181, was attending a summer choir camp in Missouri when the 1987 sexual assault occurred, the lawsuit alleges.
His parents confronted abbey officials after the assault and were told that Parry had a “mental breakdown” and would undergo treatment, the suit says.
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Lawsuit against Missouri monastery involves Las Vegas Episcopal priest
BY JEFF GERMAN
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL
June 23, 2011