Archbishop Chaput says five Philly priests unfit for ministry
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Continuing the Philadelphia archdiocese's response to a grand jury report on sex abuse or misconduct by clergy, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput on Dec. 15 declared five priests unsuitable for ministry, including one who faced a substantiated allegation of abuse committed 30 years ago.

“Priests on administrative leave are not permitted to exercise their public ministry, administer any of the sacraments, wear clerical attire, or present themselves publicly as priests,” the archdiocese said Dec. 15.

“Those priests found unsuitable for ministry will have no public ministry in the archdiocese.”

The priests may appeal the decision to the Vatican. Priests facing a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor could be laicized or ordered to live a life of prayer and penance.

Archbishop Chaput's latest decisions concerned seven priests. Of these, another four priests are unsuitable for ministry because of violations of “The Standards of Ministerial Behaviors and Boundaries.”

Father Michael A. Chapman was the priest declared unsuitable for ministry for abuse of a minor.

An archdiocesan review board had cleared him of a prior abuse allegation in May 2012. A new accuser made allegations against the priest concerning an incident 30 years ago, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports. The review board substantiated the new allegation against him and he was placed on administrative leave.

The archdiocese said that Father Chapman was never returned to active ministry and the abuse allegation was reported to law enforcement immediately.

A total of 26 priests were suspended from ministry by Archbishop Chaput's predecessor, Cardinal Justin F. Rigali, in response to allegations of sex abuse or inappropriate behavior contained in a 2011 grand jury report. All but one case has now been resolved.

According to the Dec. 15 announcement, the review board said two priests removed for violating the standards of ministerial behaviors and boundaries faced sexual misconduct allegations that could not be substantiated. The other two priests violated church standards of behavior in unspecified ways. The standards bar offenses that range in severity from making inappropriate comments to committing more grave violations.

The archbishop decided that two of the seven priests are suitable for ministry. The review board said that allegations against them could not be substantiated.

 A final case of a priest put on administrative leave in response to the grand jury report is still under investigation by the archdiocese. Law enforcement declined to press charges concerning the case in November 2013. When the investigation finishes, the archdiocese’s review boards will provide a recommendation to Archbishop Chaput.

Another priest not connected to the grand jury report has also been placed on leave.

On Dec. 15 the Archdiocese of Philadelphia placed on leave Father John P. Paul, 67, after allegations that he sexually abused minors. The priest had resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Philadelphia in November 2013, after which the archdiocese received new claims the priest committed sexual abuse over 30 years ago.

The archdiocese first received claims against the priest in late 2012, concerning alleged abuse more than 40 years ago. The archdiocese said it reported the allegations to law enforcement, which declined to press charges. The new claims of abuse against the priest are the subject of a pending law enforcement investigation.

The archdiocese said Father Paul was barred from unsupervised contact with children during the first investigation.

Archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin told the Philadelphia Inquirer that the archdiocese decided to restrict his ministry rather than put him on administrative leave “based on the information available at the time.”

“There was nothing there that was leading the review board to believe he was a danger to minors,” he said.

Tags: Clerical Abuse, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 27, 2015

Tuesday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 3:22-30


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 3:22-30