January 19, 2005

Diocese announces Vatican recommendations


DAVENPORT – The Diocese of Davenport says it has received decisions from the Vatican on whether to defrock three priests accused of sexually abusing children and another convicted of child pornography.

A review board recommended defrocking James Janssen, Francis Bass, William Wiebler, Frank Martinez, and Richard Poster. Last September, Pope John Paul II granted the request to defrock Janssen.

The diocese announced Tuesday the Vatican’s decision on the remaining four priests.

The Vatican recommended that Francis Bass “lead a life of prayer and penance,” offering mass once a week “in reparation for the crimes he has committed.” Bishop William Franklin, Bishop of the Davenport Diocese, says the recommendation was based on Bass’s retired status and “advancing age.” Franklin says Bass is subject to an additional precept where he must inform the Diocese of any change of address, submit reports of his activities, meet regularly with diocesan officials, seek approval for any vacations or time spent away from his residence, and submit to random visits with church officials. He is also prohibited from wearing a Roman collar or presenting himself publicly as a priest.

Posted by kshaw at January 19, 2005 08:48 AM