A Missouri Catholic priest was found guilty by the church of soliciting sex from an adult during a confession, church officials announced.
Father Ignazio Medina, a priest with the Diocese of Jefferson City, is barred from holding any church office, celebrating mass to the public and hearing confessions from parishioners effective immediately after the church tribunal found him guilty.
Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City launched an investigation into Medina after receiving a report through the diocese’s abuse hotline in April 2022, the diocese said.
On Nov. 27, 2023, Medina, a priest at Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Ozark, was found guilty by decree by the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. Medina did not appeal the decision.
“I want to be clear that sexual solicitation during confession is a sacrilege, a crime in our Church, and a grave form of abuse; it cannot be tolerated,” Bishop McKnight said in a statement. “With God’s help we must work to continue to eradicate abuse from all corners of our Church.
The Bishop said he’s met and spoken to Medina “to express my concerns and informed him he will not be allowed to celebrate or concelebrate Mass publicly.” However he will still be able to perform funeral masses for his immediate family, attend the gathering of priests at their annual conference and the Chrism Mass, a mass celebrated by bishops for their priests.
Medina remains a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City and continues to receive support as a retired priest, the diocese said.
“I thank the victim in this case for stepping forward, and I pray for healing,” Bishop McKnight said.
“As we move forward together, I seek the renewal of our Church by facing the awful reality of abuse with the hope and grace of the Gospel which provides the healing we all need,” he added.