A former Sewickley priest who started a splinter church and was excommunicated from the Roman Catholic Church has died.
C. William Hausen, pastor of Christ Hope Ecumenical Catholic Church in Brighton Heights, died suddenly on Sunday, Feb. 17. He was 77.
In 2004, Hausen started the Christ Hope Church in a rented ballroom at the former Sewickley Country Inn. His excommunication was described as a self-imposed consequence of that act, the Pittsburgh Tribune Review said.
Hausen had previously delivered a controversial Easter homily in 2002 that led to his transfer from St. James Catholic Church in Sewickley to the Sacred Heart Parish in Shadyside.
A priest who knew Hausen wrote in a blog this week that the former priest had struggled for years with alcoholism and sought treatment through Alcoholics Anonymous.
According to the Christ Hope Church website, Hausen served as a priest for the Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese for 40 years during which time he was pastor at the former St. Joseph Parish in Mt. Oliver and also pastor of St. Victor’s Parish in Bairdford.
"He was beloved by his family, friends, and parishioners," the church website reads.
Son of late parents Carl and Eileen Hausen, he is survived by sisters Jeanne Worgo, Mary Carol Blewitt, and Janet Feldmeier and brother-laws Ronald Worgo, Bob Blewitt and Curtis Feldmeier.
At Hausen's request, there will be no service or viewing. All arrangements are private. Donations in honor of his memory can be made to Father Martin’s Ashley Scholarship Fund, 800 Tydings Lane, Havre de Grace, M.D. 20178 or www.fathermartinashley.com
A memorial for Hausen is planned for 6 p.m. Saturday, March 2 at Christ Hope Church.