June 10, 2003

The Dallas Morning News

By REESE DUNKLIN / The Dallas Morning News

Shortly after U.S. Catholic bishops began a crackdown on sex abuse last summer, the Diocese of Galveston-Houston received a complaint about one of its priests.

The Rev. John T. Keller had allegedly let a deacon’s teenage son drink wine on a trip two decades ago, then called the intoxicated boy into bed and fondled him.

Questioned by the diocese, Father Keller denied abusing the youth but acknowledged he “crossed a proper boundary by holding you in a manner inappropriate for a priest,” Bishop Joseph A. Fiorenza wrote the deacon’s now-grown son in January.

For his actions, Father Keller would have to undergo counseling “to ensure he is not at risk for any future inappropriate behavior,” the bishop wrote. His job was safe, though.

The priest is one of several from across the country who have faced questions about their conduct but who have remained in ministry since the bishops adopted their new zero-tolerance policy.

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