Convicted priest is defrocked

Convicted priest Foxhoven defrocked

Title: Convicted priest is defrocked

Author: Herald-Star staff

Publisher: Herald-Star

Date: 27JUN2020

STEUBENVILLE — Henry Christopher Foxhoven, the Catholic priest who admitted impregnating a 17-year-old altar girl, has been defrocked.

Foxhoven, 46, is serving 12 years in jail after pleading guilty in Athens County in November 2018 to three counts of sexual battery.

In March, Pope Francis decreed that Foxhoven be dismissed from the clerical state, or laicized. The Catholic World Report says a priest dismissed from the clerical state can’t celebrate Mass, hear confessions or administer the sacraments, among other things.

The pope’s decision was communicated to Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffery Monforton on June 3, and to Foxhoven on June 19.

“We must remain vigilant in assisting victims of sexual abuse,” Monforton said. “We take every accusation very seriously and we will continue to do so.”

Monforton had revoked Foxhoven’s ministerial faculties and suspended him from priestly ministry on Oct. 27, 2018, when he learned Foxhoven had admitted to having sexual contact with a minor. At the same time, diocesan attorney Tom Wilson filed a report with the Athens County Sheriff’s Department, where Foxhoven said the abuse had occurred and the diocese “fully cooperated with authorities in their investigation,” a news release issued by the diocese Friday noted.

The bishop also notified the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, and Pope Francis’ decision to dismiss Foxhoven is the result of that canonical process, the diocese said.

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