Pope Francis defrocks former Rapid City priest

Rapid City Journal

November 12, 2020

By Arielle Zionts

Pope Francis has defrocked, or laicized, a former Rapid City priest convicted of child sexual abuse.

The Pope laicized John Praveen on March 26, the West River Catholic reported in its September issue.

“This means that John Praveen has been removed from the clerical state and cannot function or present himself as a priest,” the announcement says.

The 40-year-old was sentenced in March 2019 to six years in prison after admitting to sexually abusing a 13-year-old girl inside the Rapid City cathedral.

Praveen, who is from Hyderabad, India, joined the Diocese of Rapid City for a 10-year assignment in December 2017. The diocese sponsored his work visa.

Praveen first worked in Eagle Butte on the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe reservation.

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