By Shelley Grieshop
A former area priest was removed permanently from the priesthood recently for sexually abusing a child while serving at a church in Fort Loramie 25 years ago.
The Rev. Thomas Hopp, who briefly served as an ad-ministrator at St. Michael Catholic Church in Fort Loramie in 1980, was first taken out of public ministry in 2002 after admitting he sexually abused a Fort Loramie boy.
The victim, who currently resides in Florida, sent a letter to the Archdiocese of Cincinnati in April 2002 saying Hopp, now 65, sexually abused him as a child. Hopp confirmed the accusation was true after being confronted by Archbishop Daniel Pilarczyk, said Dan Andriacco, a spokesman for the archdiocese.
Hopp also was a defendant in at least one civil lawsuit alleging sexual abuse, Andriacco said.
Hopp, a Dayton-area native, served several parishes and schools in the Cincinnati area during his 36 years as a priest, including an assignment at St. Denis, Versailles, from 1981-1983, and at Fort Loramie in 1980. After being confronted with the abuse allegations three years ago, he resigned as pastor of Queen of Martyrs Church in Dayton, where he'd been assigned since 1995. Being permanently removed as a priest means Hopp is prohibited from wearing clerical clothes or celebrating Mass or sacraments. He cannot represent himself as a priest. However, he remains obligated to lead a life of prayer and penance and remain celibate, Andriacco said. He also remains on the archdiocese's payroll.
The Vatican in Rome recently rejected a motion to have Hopp defrocked, likely due to his age and poor health, Andriacco said.
A priest who is defrocked no longer has any rights or obligations to the church and is removed from the payroll. Keith Albrecht, a former pastor at Holy Trinity Church in Coldwater, was recently defrocked for deviant sexual behavior while serving with the Cincinnati Archdiocese.