March 01, 2006

Two removed from priesthood

Portland Press Herald

By GREGORY D. KESICH, Portland Press Herald Writer

The Vatican has imposed its strictest penalty against two Roman Catholic priests from Maine who had been accused of sexually abusing children, Bishop Richard Malone of Portland announced Tuesday.

Christian E. Roy, 57, and John Shorty, 58, were permanently relieved of the rights and duties of priesthood, including wearing clerical clothing, using the title "Father" or carrying out any religious functions. They also lost the right to any pension or health benefits they would have earned.

Roy served parishes in Lewiston and Rockland from 1983 to 1990, when the abuse allegedly occurred. Shorty is accused of abuse from 1976 through 1981, when he was in Caribou and Portland.

A third priest, the Rev. John Audibert, 65, was permanently removed from ministry by Pope Benedict XVI, Malone said. He is still a priest, but cannot function as one or have unsupervised contact with children. He will retain his health and pension benefits.

Posted by kshaw at March 1, 2006 06:34 AM