The Springfield-Cape Girardeau Catholic Diocese has identified three priests accused for sexually abusing children four decades ago.

The diocese said in a news release Monday that two of the priests — the Rev. John Brath and Monsignor John Rynish — have died. Brath died in 2014 and Rynish died in 2001.

The third priest, the Rev. Fred Lutz, retired from active ministry in 2011.

The diocese says each priest is accused of committing sexual abuse sometime in the 1970s but some of the allegations were made recently.

In August, Bishop Edward Rice said the diocese would conduct an independent review of possible abuse cases dating back more than five decades.

The decision came after an investigation in Pennsylvania uncovered more than 1,000 cases of abuse.


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