Pope John Paul II, at the request of Cardinal William H. Keeler, Archbishop of Baltimore, has dismissed Maurice Blackwell, former pastor of St. Edward’s Roman Catholic Church in West Baltimore, from the clerical state.
Maurice Blackwell was removed from ministry and had his faculties to function as a priest removed in 1998.
A priest who has been dismissed from the clerical state, or “defrocked,” is permanently removed from ministry and from ever again functioning as a priest, in public or private. This action by the Holy Father is not subject to appeal nor does it require the consent of the individual to be in effect.
Anyone who has any knowledge of child sexual abuse is urged to come forward, and to report it immediately to civil authorities. If clergy or other church personnel are suspected of committing the abuse, we ask that you also call the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection Hotline at 1-866-417-7469.