Archbishop Chaput says five Philly priests unfit for ministry
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput.

.- 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?)

Featured Videos

The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
The renewal of the Legionaries of Christ
Presentation of the book "The Pastor"
Synod on the Family October 2014
Preferential option for the poor
God is alive, even in sport
'A forbidden God' named Best Film at the International Catholic Film Festival
Vatican backs a 'Pause for Peace' during World Cup final
The effects of religious violence in Sarajevo 
The origin of Corpus Christi 
Corpus Christi at the Vatican 
Homage to an Indian Cardinal
Train of the Child's Light
New book explaining gestures of the Mass
Encounter between Pope Francis and the Charismatic Renewal in the Spirit Movement.
Religious tensions subside amid Balkan floods
John Paul II Center for Studies on Marriage and Family
Saint John Paul II on cartoon
Syrian Christian refugees
Papal Foundation Pilgrimage
Exorcism or prayer of liberation?

Liturgical Calendar

July 23, 2014

Wednesday of the Sixteenth Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Daily Readings

First Reading:: Jer 1:1, 4-10
Gospel:: Mt 13: 1-9

Saint of the Day

St. John Cassian »


Homily of the Day

Mt 13:1-9


Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
Text only

Follow us: