Vatican laicizes former Diocese of Boise priest
December 15, 2019
The Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has informed Diocese of Boise Bishop Peter Christensen that Thomas Faucher, a former priest in the diocese, has been dismissed from the clerical state. Bishop Christensen has informed Faucher of the decision, which the Vatican calls “serious and unappealable.”
Faucher, who also was an official in Oregon’s Baker Diocese in the 1990s and pastor of St. Edward Parish in Sisters, is currently serving a 25-year sentence after pleading guilty to two felony charges of possession of child pornography, two felony charges of distribution of child pornography, and a single felony charge for possession of LSD. Idaho investigators found more than 2,500 files of child pornography on his electronic devices.
“There are no excuses for such behavior by any one of our clergy,” Bishop Christensen said. He urged Catholics and all people of good will to pray for the victims of child pornography or any form of child abuse as well as for all those, including Faucher, “who fall into such depravity, placing the eternal welfare of their souls in serious jeopardy.”
At the time of Faucher’s Feb. 2, 2017, arrest, he had been retired from active ministry for nearly three years and was immediately removed from any future ministry.
The letter from Archbishop Giacomo Morandi, secretary to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, states that Faucher’s case was presented to Pope Francis after which the pope decreed that Faucher is involuntarily removed from the clerical state.
Bishop Christensen expressed gratitude for the Vatican’s “very thorough” investigation as well as law enforcement in Idaho.