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Diocese: Carlton priest accused of abuse

In a letter to parishioners, Bishop Paul Sirba said the diocese had been notified of a sexual abuse accusation against the Rev. David Tushar, priest at St. Francis Catholic Church in Carlton and Sts. Joseph and Mary Catholic Church in Sawyer.

david tushar.jpg
David Tushar
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In a letter read to parishioners on Sunday, the Diocese of Duluth disclosed new allegations of sexual abuse against a priest in the diocese.

In the letter dated July 30, Bishop Paul Sirba said the diocese had been notified of a sexual abuse accusation against the Rev. David Tushar.

Tushar, 70, is priest at St. Francis Catholic Church in Carlton and Sts. Joseph and Mary Catholic Church in Sawyer.

The allegations stem from Tushar’s time as a Holy Cross Father and Catholic school teacher in Niles, Ill., from 1978-79.

Tushar has been placed on administrative leave, though he retains his title as priest while the investigation continues, according to Deacon Kyle Ellis with the Duluth diocese.

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There are no allegations against Tushar from his time with the Duluth diocese, where he has served since 1985, Sirba said in the letter.

Tushar previously was priest of St. Lawrence Catholic Church in Duluth, and he served as rector at the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Rosary and the diocesan administrator from 2000-01.

In addition, he has served at parishes in Bigfork, Buhl, Chisholm, Cloquet, Cohasset, Effie, Grand Rapids and Warba.

A message left for Tushar was not returned as of Monday afternoon.

Tushar, a native of Gilbert, was ordained into the priesthood in 1976.

“I deeply regret the long-lasting and devastating effects of sexual misconduct on the part of clergy, and I am completely committed to assisting its victims and preventing the recurrence of these crimes,” Sirba said in the letter to parishioners.

The diocese has had a sexual misconduct policy in place since 1992, Sirba said.

In May, the Diocese of Duluth reached a $40 million settlement with 125 clergy sex abuse victims, ending years of litigation over insurance coverage and requiring files to be released on 37 priests that the diocese deemed credibly accused.

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The settlement allowed the diocese to compensate abuse survivors and emerge from Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

In the diocese letter, Sirba urged anyone who has suffered abuse from clergy members to report it to law enforcement and to the diocese.

Related Topics: CARLTONCARLTON COUNTY
Adelie (Her name rhymes with "Natalie") is a former News Tribune reporter who continues to write the Northlandia column on a freelance basis. She's also an artist, photographer and fine-art model. She's a girl of the North with a love for Scandinavia, the Northern Lights, quirky films and anything mid-century.
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