Vatican Says It Could Be 'Years' before Priests Defrocked
12 Iowa Priests Recommended for Removal from Clergy

Associated Press, carried in
July 8, 2004

DES MOINES, Iowa -- Because of a flood of requests, the Vatican is telling Iowa dioceses that it could be years before it rules on requests to defrock Roman Catholic priests for child molestation.

Steve Boeckman, a spokesman for the Des Moines diocese, said the process to remove men from the priesthood is a complex one.

The Des Moines diocese mailed its request to defrock three priests in February. On June 10, the Vatican notified diocese officials that the requests were assigned a number.

They said the backlog of cases generated by the U.S. Catholic child sexual abuse scandal means it may be some time before anything more is done on the cases.

About 12 Iowa priests, most in their 70s and 80s, are among the hundreds that U.S. Catholic bishops are recommending for removal from the clergy.


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