Beine Defrocked by the Vatican

By Robert Patrick
Post-Dispatch [St. Louis MO]
May 19, 2005

Former school counselor and Roman Catholic priest James Beine has been defrocked by the Vatican, the St. Louis Archdiocese announced Thursday. James Beine's name was on a list of just under 12 priests submitted to the Vatican in October of 2003, Archdiocesan spokesman Jamie Allman said by telephone Thursday.

The Archdiocese submitted Beine's name "for the welfare of all children and for the welfare of the Church," according to a news release.

"James Beine had credible allegations of sexual abuse… going back 30 years," Allman said.

After then-Cardinal John J. Carberry revoked his priestly faculties in 1977, Beine started his own church.

The Vatican laicized Beine March 29, Allman said, but the death of Pope John Paul II and the selection of a new pope delayed notification of the Archdiocese until Tuesday.

Allman said that the Archdiocese then notified Beine's lawyers before releasing the information publicly.

Beine had been serving a 12-year prison term after being convicted of exposing himself to three students in a bathroom in the elementary school where he worked as a counselor.

The Missouri Supreme Court overturned his conviction and declared the statute under which he was convicted unconstitutional April 26. Beine is voluntarily staying in prison while the Missouri Attorney General appeals the decision. The Archdiocese announced three laicizations in January: Michael McGrath, Donald Straub, and Robert Yim.


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