Former Juneau Priest Defrocked

Pope Benedict’s dismissal of a former Juneau priest from the clergy means the healing process can begin, parishioners say.

After three years of investigations, the Diocese of Juneau is now able to release information about the allegations that Michael Nash sexually abused young boys when he served two Juneau churches and others in Southeast Alaska.

In a letter to the diocese, Bishop Michael Warfel said that in the course of the church’s investigation Nash admitted to tickling and spanking boys in their underwear and on at least one occasion spanking a child on the bare buttocks. But Nash insisted the acts did not constitute sexual abuse. Warfel says other allegations against Nash include rape.

Warfel says the Pope’s decision to defrock Nash is the end of a tragic story for the entire diocese and now a split congregation can begin to recover.

Rosemarie Alexander reports.

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