Monsignor Eugene Costa has been removed from the priesthood by Pope Benedict XVI, Kathie Sass, a spokeswoman for the Springfield Catholic Diocese, confirmed Friday.Some may remember Costa from this post "No suspects yet in attack on Catholic priest" from Dec 27, 2004, and this followup post "Springfield, IL Police Interview Beaten Priest," and this one from Jan 4, 2005, "Teens accused of priest's beating....But...."
Costa, 57, the former pastor of St. John Vianney Church in Sherman and Holy Family Church in Athens, has been on leave since January 2005. His laicization came at the request of Springfield Bishop George Lucas, Sass said. Because the action came directly from Pope Benedict, it cannot be appealed.
Costa is not permitted to perform priestly ministries or call himself "father."
Costa subsequently resigned, "Springfield Priest Resigns After Beating in Park," and Springfield Bishop George Lucas Spoke to Msgr Costa's Parishioners.
Sass declined to say where Costa is now, what his future plans are or to pass an interview request to Lucas. She said Costa still can be a practicing Catholic.More at the Springfield Journal Register here.