Steubenville priest who impregnated teen is defrocked

The Times Leader

July 1, 2020

Henry Christopher Foxhoven, the Catholic priest who admitted impregnating a 17-year-old altar girl, has been defrocked.

Foxhoven, 46, is serving 12 years in jail after pleading guilty in Athens County, Ohio in November 2018 to three counts of sexual battery.

In March, Pope Francis decreed that Foxhoven be dismissed from the clerical state, or laicized. The Catholic World Report says a priest dismissed from the clerical state can’t celebrate Mass, hear confessions or administer the sacraments, among other things.

The pope’s decision was communicated to Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffery Monforton on June 3, and to Foxhoven on June 19.

“We must remain vigilant in assisting victims of sexual abuse,” Monforton said. “We take every accusation very seriously and we will continue to do so.”

Monforton had revoked Foxhoven’s ministerial faculties and suspended him from priestly ministry on Oct. 27, 2018, when he learned Foxhoven had admitted to having sexual contact with a minor. At the same time, diocesan attorney Tom Wilson filed a report with the Athens County Sheriff’s Department, where Foxhoven said the abuse had occurred and the diocese “fully cooperated with authorities in their investigation,” a news release issued by the diocese Friday noted.

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