has been permanently stripped of all clerical functions and privileges, the Archdiocese of Cincinnati
reported Wednesday. Brunner
requested to be laicized by signing documents sent to the Vatican.When the laicization is imposed, it's refered to as "defrocking," the archdiocese said.
On leave since 2003 In September 2003, Brunner was removed as pastor of St. Patrick Parish in Troy because of a new church law that stated a priest who has offended a child may not continue in ministry.
Since then, he's
been on administrative leave from the archdiocese and has not been permitted to function as a priest.
Accusations at Mt. Notre Dame Brunner was chaplain at Mt. Notre Dame High School in Reading.
In 1985, the school's principal reported to the archdiocese that students accused Brunner
of abusing them. He
did not deny the allegations.Brunner
then received counseling.
In 1989, a young woman reported to the archdiocese that Brunner
in the 1970s. He
received a psychological evaluation which stated he
would be able to function in his
role as a pastor, the archdiocese said.
Lawsuit filed in 2003
In November 2003, two former Mt. Dame High School students filed a lawsuit against the archdiocese and Brunner
in Hamilton County, accusing him of molesting them when they were high school students.
was ordained to the priesthood in 1974.While on the faculty of Mt. Notre Dame High School, he served as associate pastor of Sts.Peter and Paul Parish
, Reading (1974); resident associate at St. John
the Evangelist, Deer Park (1978); and associate pastor at Good Shepherd
, Montgomery (1983). After leaving Mt. Notre Dame he became full-time associate pastor at Good Shepherd, Montgomery, in 1985, pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary in Anderson Township in 1988, and pastor of St. Patrick in Troy, 1995.
Only the Vatican can laicize a Catholic priest.Several other cases involving Catholic priests from the Cincinnati archdiocese
are awaiting decisions by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.When laicization is imposed, rather than requested, it is sometimes called "defrocking."In Brunner's case, he
requested the laicization by signing the documents sent to Rome.
Archbishop Pilarczyk again wishes to apologize to those harmed by Brunner
.He urges anyone who was abused as a child by a priest or any other representative of the Archdiocese, or knows someone who was, to report the abuse immediately to the secular legal authorities and to the Archdiocese's Victim Assistance Coordinator, Sister Mary Garke, at (513) 421-3131 or 1 (800) 686-2724.