[06 FEB 01]
CRIMES, FIRES & ACCIDENTS
Child Sex Abuse
Priest Defrocked By Pope
Pope has defrocked a Catholic priest who was jailed for sexually
abusing young boys in his care.
Taylor, aged 80, was convicted at Warwick Crown Court in 1998 of
18 sexual offences against boys and sentenced to seven years in
John Paul II has sanctioned the Decree of Laicisation, which
returns Taylor to a layman and removes all his rights within the
church as a priest.
offences took place between 1957 and 1965 at the Father Hudson
Society home in Coleshill.
victims, all in their 40s and 50s, have been campaigning for years
for the Catholic church to acknowledge that further action should
be taken against the priest. They also demanded an official
church has previously refused to comment on the case, saying it
was an individual matter, and not the responsibility of the
it later emerged that Taylor had a previous assault conviction,
and was allowed to stay with another priest in Kenilworth and work
with children despite this.
Vincent Nichols of Birmingham said Taylor had been told that he
had been defrocked.
February 1, 2001, Eric Taylor received and accepted the decision
of Pope John Paul II by which he is returned to the lay state
within the Catholic Church.
that moment, he is no longer a Catholic priest.
request for dispensation was made jointly by the Archdiocese of
Birmingham and Eric Taylor himself.
was made and has been granted for the good of the Church."
Nichols added at a press conference:
is a moment of profound sadness for it underlines publicly
failure in the life of a priest, the deep distress suffered by
those who were abused by him and the sense of shame and sorrow
carried by many Catholics, both people and priests.
again express my sorrow and regret for the events that took
place those years ago. I assure all concerned that I will do
everything I can to bring about reconciliation and a new
said changes had been made to protect youngsters from rogue
priests in the future.
atmosphere has changed very considerably in the last 10 years.
There is now a keen awareness to provide safe environments for
all children in the care of the Church whether it's for a few
hours or many years."