Vatican clears retired US bishop of multiple abuse claims

DENVER (AP) — The Vatican has cleared a retired U.S. bishop of multiple allegations he sexually abused minors and teenagers, rejecting lay experts’ determination that a half-dozen claims were credible.

The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith cleared retired Cheyenne, Wyoming, Bishop Joseph Hart of seven accusations of abuse, determined that five others couldn’t be proven “with moral certitude.”

Two other cases involving boys who were 16 and 17 couldn’t be prosecuted because the Catholic Church didn’t consider them minors at the time of the alleged abuse. Another allegation wasn’t addressed in the decree.

Hart’s attorney says multiple allegations against him were “specious.”

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