Why the Catholic Church Restored Father Mel Thompson

January 3 2011, 9:32 AM

Last April, the Catholic archbishop in Denver dismissed Father Mel Thompson after launching an investigation into allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor in the 1970s. But Thompson, who spent time at several churches around the state and who had maintained his innocence, has now been cleared and restored to service, The Denver Post reports. 

A special church panel has concluded "that the allegation against Father Thompson is not supported by the evidence" received. Denver Archbishop Charles Chaput says "any allegation of this nature creates immense pain both for the accuser and the accused. I'm grateful to all for their patience throughout this very demanding process."

But after being reinstated, Thompson has requested retirement, writes 9News, which cites a statement that reads, "Having reflected on his experience of the last seven months and his current health issues, Archbishop Chaput has granted [Thompson's] request."