Diocese releases statement on Owensboro man's suicide - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Diocese releases statement on Owensboro man's suicide

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Posted by Rachel Folz - email

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - The Diocese of Owensboro released a statement on the suicide death of a young man outside a church.

On Thursday, 23-year-old David Jarboe shot himself on the campus of Blessed Mother Church on Veach Road.

He was taken to the hospital where he later died.

In a six page letter on Facebook, Jarboe, 23, told friends that when he was young, he was a victim of sexual abuse by priests.

Jarboe was a talented former football player and an A student.

Friends were stunned to see the Facebook farewell. On Facebook, Jarboe named the priests. One of them, Jarboe said he "forgave," but he called another "an evil man."

His funeral was Monday at the Blessed Mother Catholic Church.

On Monday, the Diocese of Owensboro released the following statement:

On Thursday, February 3, 2011 a young man of our Catholic community, David Jarboe, Jr., took his life on the property of Blessed Mother Church in Owensboro. 

David's parents, sisters and extended family are visibly part of the vital fabric of the Catholic Church of this community. The prayers and comfort of all of us in the church are extended to them in this moment of tragic loss.  David's funeral Mass was held today at Blessed Mother Church.

In the hours following Thursday's tragedy, it came to light that David had left a lengthy Facebook posting that was distributed to perhaps hundreds of his family and friends.  Within this posting David spoke of pain he had endured as a consequence of sexual abuse within the Church, perhaps at the hands of a Catholic priest.

In light of this information, the Most Reverend William F. Medley, the Bishop of Owensboro, convened the Diocesan Review Board on Saturday, February 5, 2011.

Bishop Medley and the Diocesan Review Board examined the information in David's Facebook posting. Chaired by Ms. Teresa Henry, the Diocesan Review Board is a 13 member group formed in 2002 as mandated by the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People.  Members of the Review Board include lay psychologists, educators, law enforcement personnel, social workers, a practicing attorney, an Episcopalian priest, a woman religious and a Canon Lawyer priest.  Ms. Henry works with juveniles, has a Master's Degree in counseling and is certified as an alcohol and drug counselor.

The Diocesan Review Board recommended to Bishop Medley that the Diocese of Owensboro engage an independent investigator to seek more information. While David's posting included names of priests, it did not directly identify any priest or any other person as an abuser. Bishop Medley will act upon this recommendation today to initiate this further investigation. 

In accordance with diocesan policy, Ms. Henry, as Chair of the Diocesan Review Board, made a report to Bruce Kuegel, Daviess County Commonwealth Attorney, and also assured him of the cooperation of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Owensboro. 

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