March 09, 2006

Ex-Elder principal stripped of priesthood

Cincinnati Enquirer

The Vatican dismissed Lawrence Strittmatter from the priesthood Wednesday, ending the career of a man accused of sexually abusing more than two dozen teenage boys in Greater Cincinnati.

Strittmatter's removal, or laicization, means he is stripped of all clerical functions and can no longer present himself as a priest.

The former principal of Elder High School is the first Cincinnati priest to be laicized since the clergy abuse scandal erupted four years ago. Two others, George Cooley and Keith Albrecht, were dismissed before 2002.

"Our fervent hope is it brings some peace, comfort or satisfaction to the victims," said Dan Andriacco, an Archdiocese of Cincinnati spokesman.

Church officials requested the laicization in 2002 after suspending Strittmatter because of at least two abuse accusations. They were aware of at least one accusation since 1988 but allowed him to continue to work as a priest.

Posted by kshaw at March 9, 2006 07:47 AM