Defrock Priests Convicted of Sexual Offences: Victims

CBC News [Canada]
August 18, 2006

Four victims of sexual abuse called on the head of the Roman Catholic diocese of London to defrock three Ontario priests convicted of sexual crimes.

In a public appeal Friday, victims of John Harper, Barry Glendinning, and Konstanty Przybylski said Bishop Ronald Fabbro should remove all those convicted of sexual abuse from the priesthood in light of the church's decision regarding the Father Charles Sylvestre case.

Earlier this month, the bishop said he would seek to have Sylvestre defrocked for indecently assaulting 47 young girls.

Father Charles Sylvestre pleaded guilty earlier this month to abusing children in the diocese of London.

The retired priest pleaded guilty in August to 47 of 61 sex abuse charges.

Trevor Kannawin, 24, Ed Swales, 44, Don Bannon, 57, and Anthony Devlin, 52, said they want the same fate for their abusers.

"I don't think they [the church] have a choice. I think they have to do something about these guys," said Bannon.

But experts on church law say forced laicization or defrocking is a rare step reserved for only the most serious violations.

A bishop can request it, but the final decision in each case rests with the Vatican.


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