Top US cardinal removed priest from ministry just day before abuse list issued

The cardinal who leads the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops removed a priest accused of sexual abuse from ministry the day before the priest’s name was among those released on a list of clergy credibly accused of abuse.

The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston said Friday that Cardinal Daniel DiNardo told the Rev. John T. Keller he would be removed from ministry late Wednesday.

DiNardo still let Keller celebrate Mass Thursday morning, hours before Keller was listed among more than 40 priests as being removed due to “recent allegations currently under investigation.”

According to the archdiocese, DiNardo gave Keller permission to celebrate the Mass since it had been previously scheduled.

A man told CBS News in November that Keller gave him alcohol and fondled him when the man was 16. Another man came forward with allegations last month.

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