Man Accused in Abuse Cases Removed from PriesthoodBELLEVILLE, Ill. (AP) - A Roman Catholic priest whose decades-old molestation of a former altar boy at St. Theresa's Catholic Church in Salem led to a $6.3 million payout in an Illinois lawsuit has been kicked out of the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI.
Diocese of Belleville Bishop Edward Braxton announced the move involving 78-year-old Raymond Kownacki in a statement published in a recent edition of the diocesan newspaper, The Messenger. Braxton says the papal decree calls the defrocking "for the good of the church."
Kownacki is living in a St. Louis-area nursing home and has refused media requests for interviews. He has not been charged criminally.
Kownacki's misdeeds resulted in a $5 million jury award against the diocese to former St. Theresa alter boy James Wisniewski in 2008. That payout grew to $6.3 million to reflect interest that accrued while the diocese appealed.
See other LocalNews news:15th District Congressional Candidates To Discuss Issues on WJBD Friday
Centralia Football Field Will Stay Within Budget
Marion County Finance Committee Finds Way To Offer Employee Health Insurance
Illinois GOP Files Lawsuit Over Poll Practices
Dix Man Receives Prison Time For Hacking Government Computers