May 02, 2005

Efforts to defrock priests keep pace

Quad-City Times

By Todd Ruger

The installation of a new pope is not expected to slow the Catholic Diocese of Davenport’s requests to remove four priests from the priesthood for allegations of sexual abuse against minors, an attorney for the diocese said.

“I don’t think the death of the pope will have any affect on it at all,” Rand Wonio said, because the Vatican responded earlier this year to all of the diocese’s requests to defrock the priests in the wake of Bishop William Franklin’s report detailing sexual abuse allegations.

The diocese sent requests to the Vatican in June to defrock the Rev. Francis Bass, the Rev. William Wiebler, the Rev. Frank Martinez and the Rev. Richard Poster. A request to defrock a fifth priest, James Janssen of Davenport, was sent at the same time, but the pope removed him from the priesthood July 28.

The diocese announced in January that the Vatican authorized a trial by church law for Wiebler and Martinez.

Posted by kshaw at May 2, 2005 06:52 AM