UPDATE: 5/29/18, 4:32 p.m.:
The investigation continues into “credible allegations” of possible sexual abuse against a retired priest.
Over the weekend, the Diocese of Steubenville removed Monsignor Mark Froelich from active ministry after sexual abuse allegations were made involving a minor during the late 80s, early 90s.
Froelich retired in 2014, but still actively participates in church activities.
Steubenville Diocese Director of Communications Dino Orsatti said Bishop Monforton decided to remove Froelich because of the seriousness of the case.
“Retired priests, a lot of times they serve masses when asked upon, they do confession and other things like that. The fact that these allegations, we felt were serious enough, we felt we had to remove him from active duty,” Orsatti said.
7news reached out to Monsignor Froelich for comment, but have yet to hear back.
UPDATE: 5/29/18, 11:55 a.m.: The Belmont County Sheriff’s Department confirms for us they are actively investigating retired Monsignor Mark Froehlich, in light of recent allegations of possible sexual abuse.
They urge anyone with information to call Detective Doug Cruse at (740) 695-7933, extension 148.
We’re continuing to follow new developments in this story. Stay with 7News to stay updated.
The Diocese of Steubenville has received what it considers to be credible allegations of sexual abuse against retired diocesan priest Msgr. Mark J. Froehlich.
Due to the allegations, he has been removed from active ministry.
The “Chapter for the Protection of Children and Young People,” which are special laws approved by the Holy Father to deal with child abuse, are handling the case.
Any victim or victims harmed by a priest or anyone serving on behalf of the Catholic Church in the Diocese of Steubenville can contact the Diocese or authorities.
In the Diocese, victims can call Thomas S. Wilson at (740) 282-3631 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
On Sunday night, SNAP, the Suvivor’s Network of those Abused by Priests responded to the allegations:
“Church officials wrongly tell us that incidents such as this case can be reported to Diocesan officials or authorities. All incidents of child sex abuse must be reported to the police or child protective services. The church officials are not the proper officials to be investigating child sex crimes as we have seen a history of church authorities covering up clergy who abuse children. If you have been abused or have a reasonable suspicion of abuse, please report to the police.”