Colette M. Jenkins
George F. Bailey, a Roman Catholic priest who resigned in 1989 as pastor of Medina’s St. Francis Xavier Parish, has essentially been defrocked by the Vatican over sexual abuse allegations dating back to the 1960s in Akron.
On Thursday, priests and deacons throughout the Catholic Diocese of Cleveland received a memo from Bishop Richard G. Lennon, informing them that Bailey “was granted a dispensation from the clerical state” by the Holy See.
“In response to credible accusations of sexual misconduct involving a minor, George Bailey requested a dispensation from the clerical state for the good of the church. Dispensation from the clerical state means that in accordance with Canon Law, George Bailey is unable to function in any capacity as a priest anywhere, with the exception of offering absolution to those in danger of death,” the memo read.
Bailey, 76, severed ties with the local diocese when he resigned in 1989 and diocesan officials have no record of his whereabouts.
According to diocesan records, Bailey was ordained in 1963 and his first assignment was as associate pastor of St. Vincent Parish in Akron, where he served until 1968. He also served as associate pastor at St. Augustine Parish in Barberton from 1977 to 1978. He was assigned as pastor of St. Francis Xavier in 1984.
According to bishopaccountability.org Inc., a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that documents clergy abuse in the Roman Catholic Church, Bailey also served at Holy Family in Parma; St. Mary in Bedford; Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Wickliffe and Immaculate Conception in Madison. The organization’s website indicates that at least 10 women have accused Bailey of sexually abusing them when they were grade school children at St. Vincent’s in Akron and at St. Mary’s in Bedford.
Colette Jenkins can be reached at 330-996-3731 or firstname.lastname@example.org. She can be followed at www.twitter.com/ColetteMJenkins.