A priest of the Springfield Catholic Diocese has been removed from ministry following allegations of child abuse. Father Robert “Bud” DeGrand had been serving as pastor of several rural churches near Effingham, but Bishop Thomas John Paprocki announced over the weekend Father DeGrand would not return.
In a statement released by the diocese, Father DeGrand was placed on administrative leave last year but had not been cooperating with the investigation by the diocese after it found credible evidence that clerical sexual misconduct with a minor took place. The incident in question allegedly took place in 1980 in Jacksonville; the year DeGrand was ordained a priest. DeGrand has also served at parishes in Granite City, Winchester and Bluffs. He is currently suspended from all ministries, but according to the diocese has refused to move from his home in southern Illinois. The diocese continues to pay Father DeGrand’s legal fees, but has suspended his salary.