Springfield diocese removes pastor accused of abuse

SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Catholic priest accused of sexually abusing a minor the same year he was ordained has been removed as pastor of four central Illinois parishes.

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Springfield announced the Rev. Robert “Bud” DeGrand’s immediate removal over the weekend. Bishop Thomas John Paprocki met with parishioners Sunday in Sigel, Neoga, Green Creek and Lillyville to explain the decision.

The alleged misconduct occurred in Jacksonville in 1980. DeGrand also has served parishes in Winchester, Bluffs and Granite City.

Church leaders told The (Springfield) State Journal-Register that such a forced ouster hasn’t occurred in recent history. Clergy members accused of sexual misconduct in the diocese resigned in 1999 and 2004.