The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Father Simpson added to Clergy Disclosure List

Published: September 1, 2020   

This statement was released by the Diocese of Little Rock Sept. 1 regarding a credible allegation of sexual abuse against the late Father Edward Simpson.

"On Sept. 10, 2018, Bishop Anthony B. Taylor released a statement that included names of clergy who served in Arkansas and who had been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor. An independent review of files was then conducted, and Bishop Taylor issued an additional update on Feb. 8, 2019. The Diocese of Little Rock has long encouraged victims of sexual abuse by clergy to come forward and be heard, which it again reiterated throughout that process.

"On April 20, the Diocese of Little Rock was contacted by an individual alleging to have been sexually abused as a minor by Father Edward Simpson. Father Simpson served in Arkansas from his ordination in 1954 until his retirement in 1986. He died in 1988, meaning that it was not possible to present him with these allegations or give him the opportunity to respond. However, the diocese conducted an investigation to the extent possible. Based on that investigation and having heard the opinion and counsel of the Diocesan Review Board, Bishop Anthony Taylor has come to the conclusion that this allegation, though not able to be substantiated, is credible for purposes of including Father Simpson on the Clergy Disclosure List.

"Additional information on Father Edward Simpson’s status and assignment history, as well as other information about the Clergy Disclosure List, can be found on our diocesan website. Information about the Diocese’s Safe Environment program and protocols can be found here.

"The Diocese of Little Rock encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by Father Simpson -- or any other priest, deacon, or other representative of the Church -- to come forward, first by contacting the civil authorities by calling the Arkansas Child Abuse Hotline (800-482-5964).  And then by contacting the diocesan staff:  Deacon Matthew Glover, chancellor for canonical affairs (501-664-0340, ext. 361) or Laura Gottsponer, victims assistance coordinator (501-664-0340, ext. 425)."

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