Steubenville, OH (WTRF)- Pope Francis decreed that Henry Christopher Foxhoven be dismissed from the clerical state. The Pope’s decision was communicated to Diocese of Steubenville Bishop Jeffrey M. Monforton on June 3 and to Foxhoven on June 19.

Foxhoven pled guilty to three counts of sexual battery in front of Athens County Judge Patrick Lang, Nov. 27, 2018 and is serving a 12 year prison sentence.

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

On Oct. 27, 2018, when the bishop learned that Foxhoven admitted to having sexual contact with a minor, he immediately revoked all of his ministerial faculties and suspended him from priestly ministry.

At the same time, diocesan attorney Thomas Wilson filed a report with the Athens County Sheriff’s Department, where Foxhoven said the abuse occurred and the diocese fully cooperated with authorities in their investigation.

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.