Priest with Huntsville ties among those accused of child molestation

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – A Catholic priest who had north Alabama ties is on the Diocese of Birmingham’s list of clergy that were accused of committing acts of child abuse while working in the diocese.

Charles V. Cross, who died in 2010, is one of six clergy members the diocese identified. He began his clergy career as an assistant at Holy Spirit Church in Huntsville in 1967, according to the Diocese of Birmingham. Cross was at Holy Spirit for a little over a year before becoming a chaplain at St. Margaret Hospital in Montgomery.

Cross’s other work during his time with the diocese included:

  • Sept. 15, 1970 – Director of Catholic Charities, resident at St. Peter the Apostle
  • April 2, 1973 – Temporary administrator of St. Mark Church
  • July 1, 1975 – Associate pastor, St. Paul’s Cathedral
  • Oct. 15, 1976 – Pastor, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Church, Gardendale
  • Dec. 1976-1988 – Served in the Diocesan Tribunal office

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Cross was removed from ministry in parishes in 1985 and was forced to retire without privileges in 2002. Other details about allegations made against him were not disclosed by the diocese.

Three of the five other priests listed by the diocese also are dead. The two that are still alive, Kevin Cooke and John J. “Jack” Ventura, are not in service in any diocese, officials said. Cooke was removed from ministry in 2002, and Ventura was removed after allegations were made in 1985.

The Diocese of Birmingham has said it believes the list is complete, but asks that anyone who may have information come forward.

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