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A Priest's Confession

November 3, 2005, 11:49 PM by Don Jorgensen

Priests and confessions go together, but when it's the priest who's confessing, it's disturbing.

Last night we told you about Father Bruce MacArthur and how he repeatedly raped Judy DeLonga for seven years when she was a little girl attending one of his churches in Wisconsin. As we told you, there were other victims, many right here in South Dakota where MacArthur bounced around from parish to parish.

Now we hear MacArthur's chilling confession as he told investigators how he sexually preyed on children. Even though he says everyone in the catholic church knew about his history, no one ever turned him in to authorities.

Throughout his sworn deposition, an old and frail Father MacArthur admits sexually abusing young girls.

"How many children do you think you abused while serving as a priest? "I have no idea," said MacArthur.

While he doesn't know exactly how many victims, he says there were plenty. MacArthur says preying on children like Judy DeLonga became a sick behavior he couldn't control.

"What I did, I did and I knew I was doing was wrong, but I had no way of stopping, none whatsoever."

But instead of reporting the incidence of abuse to law enforcement, MacArthur says the diocese transferred him to six different churches in a ten year period to try and hide his evil doings.

"It's the silliest to go from one parish to the next give the same evidence, I want to avoid scandal, I couldn't avoid scandal," said MacArthur.

MacArthur preached in Platte, where he says he abused at least two girls.
And in Ramona where he worked as an assistant. He says there he sexually abused two more girls and when the kids started talking, the church found out.

"I remember a father coming to me, he said did this happen, I said yes, he put his head down between his shoulders and walked out. I don't think he did anything about it, just shocked that I could do that."

Other excerpts from confession:

Investigator: Tell us why you were sent to Via Coeli by Bishop Hoch?
MacArthur: Because I abused children.

Investigator: Why were you sent to the priest psychiatrist?
MacArthur: I abused children.
Investigator: Who sent you?
MacArthur: I think my diocese did.

Investigator: Did you have any regrets?
MacArthur: Terrible regrets.

MacArthur: I asked my bishop to take away my faculties entirely.
Investigator: Was that Bishop Dudley?
MacArthur: Yes!
Investigator: Why did you ask him that?
MacArthur: Because I was a rotten priest.
Investigator: What makes you a rotten priest?
MacArthur: I abused children.

Investigator: At the time, Mr. MacAthur, how many children would you estimate you had abused while serving as a priest?
MacArthur: I have no idea. I could say something, but it would be only an exaggeration, and it would be either under or over, so I just cannot say.

Investigator: How many girls do you think you sexually abused at St. Peters of the Apostle in Platte?
MacArthur: I’m assured of two, but beyond that I don’t know.

Investigator: Did you abuse any girls there?
MacArthur: In Britton? Did I or didn’t I? Besides Judy? Yes one other.

On the attempted rape case in Texas of a nursing home patient.

MacArthur: She was about my age. I was climbing into her bed and somebody came by and heard springs, fortunately before I had done anything.

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