Missouri Priest Who Solicited Sex While Holding Confession Barred From Celebrating Mass Publicly

— The adult victim had come forward to the Diocese of Jefferson City, prompting the launch of an administrative and disciplinary process

In this August 2013 News Tribune file photo, Father Ignazio Medina, then serving the St. Stanislaus Parish in Wardsville, Mo., blesses motorcycles and riders in the parking lot of the Elks Lodge in Jefferson City. The Diocese of Jefferson City announced in April 2023 that a Roman Catholic tribunal found the now retired priest guilty of financial misconduct while he was pastor in Wardsville.

by Yelena Dzhanova

A Missouri priest is being disciplined after he allegedly solicited sex from an adult during a confession session, church officials said. 

In a news release published last Monday, the Diocese of Jefferson City said Ignazio Medina is now prohibited from serving in any church office, celebrating mass publicly, and holding confessions, after church officials received a report saying he allegedly asked for sex during a confession on April 15, 2022.

Church officials, upon receiving the report, barred him from hearing confessions and from being alone with people outside his family on the property of Our Lady of the Lake Parish in Lake Ozark, Missouri.

Medina was found guilty in November 2023 after an exhaustive administrative and disciplinary process in which he secured a lawyer to provide a defense, the release says.

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight

“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,” said Bishop W. Shawn McKnight of Jefferson City. “With God’s help we must work to continue to eradicate abuse from all corners of our Church. Please join me in prayer for all who are left in pain and confusion when a trusted leader abuses their position of sacred trust and power for sinful purposes.”

Medina did not appeal the guilty decision.

He is still a priest of the Diocese of Jefferson City.

McKnight said he’s grateful for the victim who came forward.

“I also thank all who helped during the investigation and disciplinary process. In addition, I am very grateful for our clergy, parish staff and parishioners who are dedicated to ensuring our diocesan Safe Environment protocols are followed,” he said in the release.

“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,” McKnight added.

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