Catholic Diocese of Evansville Priest accused of sexual misconduct

The Diocese of Evansville has received an allegation of sexual misconduct against Father Bernie Etienne (A-CHIN), a priest of the diocese, which is alleged to have occurred more than 20 years ago. Civil authorities and the Diocesan Review Board have been notified. Father Bernie strongly denies the claim and, as with all accused, he is accorded the presumption of innocence during the investigation of this allegation.

In accord with Church norms, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, and in accord with diocesan policies, Father Bernie is on administrative leave and is not able to perform public ministry while the investigation proceeds. Father Alex Zenthoefer (Zent-Hay-Fer) has been appointed temporary administrator of Holy Rosary Parish.

Father Bernie has served in the following parishes: St. Joseph, Jasper; St. Joseph, Princeton; Blessed Sacrament, Oakland City; Holy Rosary, Evansville; and Nativity, Evansville. He also served as diocesan chaplain for Southwestern Indiana Teens Encounter Christ, diocesan director of vocations, diocesan vicar general, and diocesan administrator.

If you are a victim of sexual misconduct by a person ministering on behalf of the Church, or if you know of anyone who has been a victim of such misconduct, please contact civil authorities and the Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator at 812-490-9565 or toll-free at 866-200-3004

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