Vatican Defrocks Convicted Green Bay Priest

Associated Press State & Local Wire
August 8, 2005

John Patrick Feeney, a Roman Catholic priest convicted of sexually assaulting two adolescent brothers, has been defrocked by the Vatican, the Green Bay bishop announced Monday.

Feeney was convicted last year of three counts of sexual assault of a child and one count of attempted sexual assault of a child in incidents in 1978 against two brothers aged 12 and 14.

A judge in January upheld the convictions and the 15-year prison sentence.

Green Bay Bishop David Zubik said Monday he had received official word from the Holy See that Feeney had been dismissed from the clerical state.

Pope Benedict XVI granted Zubik's petition to have Feeney dismissed in June. Zubik notified Feeney of the decision in person on July 29, according to a statement from the Green Bay diocese.

Feeney has been barred from publicly preaching since 1986.

Court documents showed Feeney, parish priest at St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Freedom at the time of the assaults, worked in 18 parishes over 30 years in the Green Bay diocese before leaving Wisconsin in 1983 amid numerous allegations of sexual misconduct with adolescent boys.


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