Lawrence Harold Welsh

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Lawrence Harold Welsh (February 1, 1935–January 13, 1999) was the fourth Roman Catholic Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Spokane from 1978-1989.[1]


Born in Winton, Wyoming, Welsh was ordained a priest on March 26, 1962. On November 6, 1978, he was appointed bishop of the Spokane Diocese and was ordained on December 14, 1978.

Police Investigation[edit]

On September 9, 1986 police officers of the Spokane Police Department were assigned to investigate charges that Welsh had tried to strangle a male prostitute in Chicago. The accuser also said that Welsh may have committed murder in the past. Welsh admitted to police that he picked up a drug addict and took him to his hotel room for counseling. On further questioning Bishop Welsh admitted to putting his hands all over the victim's body.[2]

End of Term as bishop[edit]

On April 17, 1990, Welsh resigned as Bishop of Spokane after he was arrested for drunk driving.[3]

On November 5, 1991, Welsh was made an auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Saint Paul and Minneapolis.

Protecting Sex Abusers[edit]

It has been alleged that Welsh did little against priests in his diocese who sexually abused minors because they could threaten to reveal his own activities with male prostitutes.[4] Welsh is specifically accused of reassigning the priest Patrick O'Donnell to another parish after three families brought allegations of sexual abuse of children by O'Donnell to the knowledge of Bishop Welsh.


  1. ^ Catholic Hierarchy entry on Bishop Welsh
  2. ^ copy of police report obtained by the Spokesman-Review
  3. ^ Spokesman-Review article, October 25, 2002
  4. ^ Spokesman-Review October 25, 2002