October 13, 2005

Former area priest defrocked

Dayton Daily News

By Jim Bebbington
Dayton Daily News

The Vatican has defrocked one former southwest Ohio priest, ordered two others permanently removed from ministry, and cleared two more to return to duty in a slate of decisions announced Wednesday involving priests accused of sexual misconduct.

Keith Albrecht, 60, a former priest at St. Luke Catholic Church in Beavercreek, was ordered defrocked, the church's highest penalty for clergy, the Vatican announced.

Albrecht was placed on leave in February 1993 over an allegation that he had molested a boy in Beavercreek in the late 1970s when Albrecht was associate pastor of St. Luke. A second allegation was made involving a Shelby County boy who was visiting New York with Albrecht in the late 1980s during his tenure at Holy Trinity in Coldwater.

The Vatican also ordered that Thomas Hopp, 65, a former priest at the Queen of Martyrs Church in Harrison Twp., and Francis Massarella, 90, a former priest at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church in Tipp City, be permanently removed from church ministry.

This lesser punishment prohibits them from dressing or publicly presenting themselves as priests, but allows them to remain living in church-owned properties and keeps them on church payrolls.

Posted by kshaw at October 13, 2005 09:57 AM