Catholic Diocese of Spokane, Washington

From the

Official News Magazine of the Diocese of Spokane

Deacon Eric Meisfjord, Editor
P.O. Box 48, Spokane WA 99210
(509) 358-7340; FAX: (509) 358-7302

Review Board recommends release of deceased priestís name; credible accusation of sexual misconduct

the Inland Register

(From the Dec. 4, 2003 edition of the Inland Register)

In keeping with his policy of releasing names of deceased priests accused of abuse when a victim comes forward with a credible accusation, Bishop William Skylstad announced this week he has accepted the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board to publish the name of a deceased former Spokane diocesan priest, Joseph Knecht.

In the view of both the Bishop and the Board, Knecht has been credibly accused of acts of sexual abuse.

The accusation against Knecht, which was recently reported to attorneys for the diocese, involves acts which occurred 58 years ago. Upon investigation and review of the allegation by the diocese, it was the opinion of the bishop and that of the Board that evidence supporting the accusation was credible that Knecht engaged in inappropriate activity involving an adolescent boy.

Knecht was born Aug. 2, 1900. He was ordained June 6, 1925.

According to diocesan records, Knecht held just three assignments during his priestly ministry: as assistant at St. Augustine Parish, Spokane, from Oct. 31, 1932-Nov. 22, 1933; as pastor in Waterville (now the Yakima Diocese) from Nov. 22, 1933-Sept. 1, 1937; and as pastor in Chewelah, from Sept. 1, 1937 until the time of his death, Sept. 13, 1956.

No photo of Knecht could be found in the records of the Diocesan Archives or the Inland Register.

The Diocese of Spokane encourages victims of sexual misconduct to come forward and contact either law enforcement officials or the diocese itself. To report abuse to the diocese, call Father Steve Dublinski, vicar general, at 358-7303; or Mary Butler, Victims Assistance Coordinator, at either 353-0442 or 998-8340.

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