Parishioners React to Priest's Arrest

By Melissa Reid
State Journal
July 13, 2010

Father Felix Owino, was arrested July 8 in Fairfax, Va., on charges of aggravated sexual battery of a minor.

WEIRTON -- The charges against the Rev. Felix Owino are shocking to some in the community.

The Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston said they learned of his arrest Thursday.

"Once the Diocese learned of the charges, we informed his religious superiors and suspended his priestly faculties within the diocese," said spokesman, Bryan Minor. "This was effective immediately, pending the outcome of the charges in Fairfax County."

According to Minor, the Diocese released information on Owino's arrest so that anyone with knowledge of any wrongdoing by Father Felix can come forward.

Owino served as associate pastor at St. Paul's Roman Catholic Church in Weirton, where he performed mass and funeral services.

WTRF contacted the church and Reverend Larry Dorsch, who had no comment.

But St. Paul parishioners say they are saddened by the news.

"This stuff happens everywhere, unfortunately. But to have it happen in my city, my church. I really feel bad" said Brian DiBacco, a member of the church.

"It's just heart wrenching to hear. I don't think I've ever heard of this happening before in Weirton, and i just hope someone does something about this," said his wife, Danielle.

Owino is being held without bond at the adult detention center in Fairfax.

He is awaiting trial in September.


Any original material on these pages is copyright 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.