Priest Removed As Pastor of East-central Illinois Parishes

State Journal-Register
May 4, 2015

The Rev. Robert “Bud” DeGrand, a Roman Catholic priest who was alleged to have sexually abused a youth while he was serving in Jacksonville more than 30 years ago, has been permanently removed as pastor of the four east-central Illinois parishes he was currently leading.

Springfield Bishop Thomas John Paprocki met Sunday with parishioners of St. Michael the Archangel in Sigel, St. Mary of the Assumption in Neoga, St. Mary Help of Christians in Green Creek and Sacred Heart in Lillyville to deliver the news. The move is effective immediately.

Marlene Mulford, spokeswoman for the Springfield diocese, said Monday that removals such as this are uncommon, and there hasn’t been one in the Springfield diocese in recent history.

State Journal-Register archives note at least two resignations, but not removals, related to sexual-misconduct allegations in the past two decades -- Bishop Daniel Ryan in 1999 and the Rev. Eugene Costa after an incident in 2004.

In January 2014, the Diocesan Review Board unanimously found that the allegation against DeGrand, 62, of clerical sexual misconduct with a minor was credible. On Sept. 20, Paprocki met with parishioners and reported that DeGrand’s case was pending at the Vatican Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. One week later, Paprocki received a letter referring the case back to him.

According to the diocese, DeGrand refused to cooperate in the investigation and rejected Paprocki's order that he move to a private residence in Springfield while on administrative leave. As a result, Paprocki removed DeGrand from public minstry.

The alleged misconduct in Jacksonville occurred while DeGrand was serving Our Saviour Parish in 1980, the same year he was ordained to the priesthood. He also has served parishes in Winchester, Bluffs and Granite City.

Calls to Our Saviour Parish in Jacksonville and to the acting pastor for the four parishes in east-central Illinois were not immediately returned Monday afternoon.








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