Catholic Diocese Dismisses Three Iowa Priests
Three Priests Dismissed

Channel 4000
September 19, 2003

Des Moines, Iowa -- The local Catholic diocese announced Friday disciplinary action against three priests.

Bishop Joseph Charron said he accepted the recommendations of what is called the allegation review committee. The recommendation calls for the permanent removal and dismissal of three priests, the most severe punishment the committee could recommend.

Fr. Albert Wilwerding has been forbidden to serve as priest since 1984 and lived in a St. Louis restricted living facility. He was ordained in 1956.

Fr. John Ryan was forbidden since 1993. He was ordained in 1950 and retired in 1988.

Fr. Richard Wagner was accused of an incident in the late 1980s and a 1993 incident with a female high school student. He was ordained in 1961.

Relatives of some of the abuse victims report they have been contacted by the diocese and told to expect the announcement Friday.

The allegation review committee was formed a year ago to investigate charges of abuse by priests.

According to a special charter adopted by U.S. bishops last year, Bishops can relieve offending priests of their duties, or completely dismiss the individual from the priesthood.

Technically it's "removal from the clerical state."


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