February 28, 2006

Vatican punishes three priests accused of sexual abuse


By Clarke Canfield, Associated Press Writer | February 28, 2006

PORTLAND, Maine --The Vatican has removed two Maine priests and upheld restrictions on a third following an investigation into accusations that they sexually abused minors, church officials said Tuesday.

The Vatican has imposed its most severe punishment by defrocking Christian Roy, 57, and John Shorty, 58, said Bishop Richard Malone of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland. That means they are permanently removed from the clergy, will not receive a pension or health benefits from the church, and are prohibited from celebrating Mass.

The Vatican also determined that restrictions placed on John Audibert, 65, will remain in effect, Malone said at a press conference at the church's offices. Audibert is still an ordained priest, but is prohibited from wearing clerical clothes or presenting himself as a priest, having unsupervised contact with minors or celebrating Mass in a church.

"I'm sincerely hopeful this information and further information of this kind will bring some measure of justice and healing and closure to victims," Malone said.

Posted by kshaw at February 28, 2006 02:54 PM