Former Area Priest Defrocked
28 Accused Strittmatter, Who Was St. Albert Associate Pastor, of Sexual Abuse
By Tom Beyerlein
Dayton Daily News [Ohio]
March 9, 2006
Lawrence Strittmatter, who lost his post as associate pastor of St. Albert the Great Catholic Church in Kettering amid allegations he sexually abused boys years earlier in Cincinnati, has been permanently removed from the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati said Wednesday.
Strittmatter was one of 15 archdiocesan priests who have been placed on leave after having been found by the archdiocese to have sexually abused minors. The pope granted his laicization, or defrocking, Jan. 20, according to archdiocese spokesman Dan Andriacco.
Ten area priests are on leave awaiting possible defrocking for child sexual abuse, while five have been defrocked or otherwise stripped of ministry.
A priest since 1957, Strittmatter allegedly abused dozens of youths while serving as principal of Elder High School and Cincinnati parishes in the 1970s and 1980s.
"He's one of the most notorious predators who have worn a collar," said Mason attorney Konrad Kircher, who has represented more than 100 people who say they are victims of abuse by priests, including 28 Strittmatter accusers. "In terms of (abusive) Cincinnati priests, I'd say he's in the top three. They all abuse their position, but he had it down to a science."
In a statement released to the media, Andriacco said, "Archbishop (Daniel) Pilarczyk wishes to again apologize to those harmed by Strittmatter."
He said anyone who has information about abuse by priests should call 1-800-686-2724.
Meanwhile, the Cincinnati chapter of Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests said Pilarczyk, who "shielded and knowingly moved" Strittmatter to other parishes, owes it to victims to support proposed state legislation to make it easier for victims to sue their abusers.
"Strittmatter still poses a threat to children," SNAP said. "His defrocking does not mean that he has been 'fixed.'
"It simply means that Archbishop Pilarczyk can now officially 'wash his hands' of him from now on."
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