OTTAWA, Illinois – An Illinois priest has been removed from ministry again.
LaSalle News Tribune reports that Ottawa’s Catholic parishes removed Father Jeffrey Windy from the priesthood in March. Officials found that Windy had involved himself in a criminal court case by visiting a crime victim with the suspect’s father, who is a parishioner. Windy visited an 82-year-old crime victim along with the father of the woman who had robbed her. That man later would be charged with attempted harassment of the victim.
Windy had previously been removed from ministry after a conviction for manufacturing and selling the date-rape drug GHB. Windy was arrested in 2002 while at a different parish and served time in federal prison for manufacturing the drug. He returned to parish work in 2013 and then served at Holy Trinity and Historic St. Patrick’s churches, both in Bloomington, before going to Ottawa in 2017.
Monsignor James Kruse, the vicar general of the Diocese of Peoria, says Windy didn’t consult his superiors before getting involved. Kruse says that shows Windy hasn’t overcome “a pattern of imprudence.”
Windy’s attorney says the diocese is seeking to permanently remove Windy from the priesthood. The attorney says the removal isn’t justified.
The Catholic Diocese of Peoria’s website currently lists Windy as being on a leave of absence.