By TRAVIS LOLLER, Associated Press

NASHVILLE (AP) - A prominent leader in the Southern Baptist Convention says he was wrong to support a Kentucky pastor accused of covering up sex abuse.

The Rev. Albert Mohler first addressed the issue Thursday in an interview with the Houston Chronicle. Earlier this week, that paper and the San Antonio Express-News published an investigation detailing hundreds of sex abuse cases in Southern Baptist churches.

In a public statement released on Friday, Mohler apologized and asked for forgiveness for his support of C.J. Mahaney, founder of the Sovereign Grace Ministries network of churches.

They are not affiliated with the Southern Baptist Convention, but Moheler and other prominent Southern Baptists worked closely with Mahaney in the past.

Sovereign Grace leaders have long denied accusations of a cover-up. Mahaney's Sovereign Grace Church of Louisville, Kentucky, said it would issue a statement, but it was not available late Friday.

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