Archdiocese Removes Father Paul From Ministry Without Announcement


by Susan Matthews

First Father Paul resigned from Our Lady of Calvary, where he remained as pastor while under investigation and review for two allegations of child sex abuse. A week later, without announcement, the archdiocese temporarily removed his faculties and he will not be able to celebrate Mass in public pending the outcome of the canonical investigation. This has been confirmed by an archdiocesan official. The only reason we discovered Father Paul’s removal is because Kathy Kane monitors the clergy list for just such changes.

– Why, after leaving him as pastor during much of the investigation, remove him from ministry now?

– Why wasn’t there a public announcement of this removal? Other victims might be prompted to come forward.

– Do the parishioners of Our Lady of Calvary know Father Paul has been temporarily removed from ministry? The families were not informed of the allegations until he resigned. The archdiocese did not consider them “pertinent parties.” Which is odd, given the Safe Environment statement on the Archdiocesan website. “Parents are the first and most influential teachers of children and are responsible for their spiritual, moral, emotional, physical, and intellectual development. This is an awesome and sometimes daunting responsibility. When armed with proper information, parents can best protect their children from predators.”

One thing is very clear, the archdiocese isn’t concerned about arming parents with that information. In fact, they’ll keep it from them.

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31 Responses to “Archdiocese Removes Father Paul From Ministry Without Announcement”

  1. I don’t wish the hellish experience of childhood sexual abuse on anyone, but I do wish that just for one day only I could switch brains with my critics so they would be able to recall the memories I constantly struggle to forget, the intruding thoughts I ponder on while trying to concentrate on something other than my own misery, and I wish they could see through my eyes the reflection of my past and my current view of everyday life, my physical surroundings, people just like themselves whom I can’t hardly understand in a world that appears completely backwards. I think if some people could wrap their minds around the continuously over-working of my mind, then maybe they wouldn’t be so quick and harsh at judging my current response to thirty years of inter termoil, emotional distress, darkness and emptiness. The ways in which these critics base their opinions of myself and other victims give me reason to conclude that if there was some kind of witchcraft or voodooism available to switch our brains, well… I’m sure they wouldn’t be able to handle one second of this mountain of grief and despair.

    I wish that these types of people would consider for just a moment that I, along with many other victims of clergy sexual abuse, do speak the truth and we speak it from horrible experiences we suffered from, and were forced to endure as children. Why do they immediately assume we are dishonest, begrudged heathens, unfairly seeking to exploit their beloved church and religion? I wonder why these people don’t ever presume we are absolutely speaking the entire truth? Why am I so quickly disbelieved instead of being rightly believed? I’m sure much of the hesitation these Catholics have for supporting we victims over their priests is a direct result of shady sermons shouted from the pulpit, but I’ve still always been rather mystified how anyone could side with the church after we victims have been able to just barely squeeze enough evidence into the Grand Canyon that proves our truth. It is “blindness” by choice. Since I came forward almost five years ago (sheesh… I can’t believe it was that long ago), I still have not been able to understand why exactly that the popular belief among the congregation is that we victims are simply liars, operating some sort of criminal enterprise, with thousands worldwide, a club I’m certain to say none of us ever willingly signed up for, nor wanted to renew our memberships over and over and over again, and then accused by people we finally thought would believe us and support us instead insinuating we have only unfounded and baseless motives to embarrass the church and extort money from the heavens.

    I would like Catholics to reconsider their words before speaking them in my direction. I want them to imagine that my story reflects their own, or mimics the experiences that their own son or daughter suffered in childhood and has finally confessed it to them. And… if these Catholics believed their child was speaking the truth, I’m sure they’d want other Catholics, along with Catholic hierarchy to listen to their child, believe them, be respectful of the victim and the victim’s family, and to seek justice in holding the abuser(s) accountable.

    I think the reason we victims are bashed by so much criticism is because those people who weren’t abused immediately put themselves in the victim’s shoes and then “as the adults they are now” convince themselves (and try convincing others) why there is no way in the world that anything similar that happened to us could’ve happened to them. They become defensive and claim they would’ve punched out the priest (or adult), or told a teacher or their parents, or called the cops. Therein lies the problem, because they have not and will not ever be able to understand how it feels to be very young, defenseless, innocent, trying to be obedient, and the determination to be a good little boy, because they can only base what their reaction “would’ve been” through the mindset of a grown adult, who understands what should and should not occur between and adult and a child. They can only view what their reaction “would’ve been” based on their strength as intelligent capable adults they are now, and as adults who are bigger and stronger, but they cannot fathom the concept of being controlled, and being held down and hurt by someone who we sexual abuse victims were powerless against. It’s easy for me to know that as an adult I have more opportunities and resources to defend myself. When I was a little boy, I was just that, a “little” boy, and he was a stronger, more powerful, and a manipulative grown man. That is why adults who were never abused as children will never understand “coerced, threatened, persuaded, forced, restrained, intimidated, strong-armed, violated, tortured of body and mind, and raped!” Therefor non-victim adults will never understand, “sadness, grief, fear, humiliation, terror, panic, despair, rage, distrust, unloved, vacant, dark, emotionless, worthlessness, degradation, numbness, nightmares, flashbacks, and the daily hell that continuously stirs inside our brains.”

    I really wish people like Bam Gallagher, Bill Donahue, Dave Pierre and their likeness would reconsider the words they choose, or would watch the tape a few times after their interviews, or would reread what they write. I can’t imagine that they could still be so beligerant toward victims and neglectful of innocent children if they watched, listened, and read themselves a few times over. Even though I think these people and those with similar opinions are wrong and ignore the facts, I still wish they would adjust the way they deliever their messages and at least have the common human decency that even toddlers understand and abide by, that their opinions shouldn’t be directed at “already broken, self-hating people” with such hatred of their own, especially because many of us have experienced direct hatred from those who call themselves “God loving and God fearing,” and the hatred I find abundantly clear those grown adults have for innocent and defenseless children when they molest and rape them. Many of us victims have spent most of our lives since the abuse hating ourselves, so it really isn’t necessary for them to keep piling it on, because some victims self destruct and addiction and suicide is all too often applied to one’s self to dull the pain. You should kick a guy who’s already down!

    “They” continue discounting us time after time, but it doesn’t make sense, since in most cases I’ve been involved in they won’t even listen to us. Try asking an 80-something year-old lady walking up the steps of a Catholic cathedral in the city where your abuse occurred, and one of the abusers “their” beloved priest, with a trail of allegations, even the priest admitting to the abuse, almost 25 years long, from the days he was a city councilman before enlisting in the seminary and starting his deviance on his first day of class, and taking it with him to #1 school, then to #2 rectory, all the way out to #3 state, with four years going past to clear out the students who rumored about him, only for him to be sent back to #1 school to start all over again, then some parents find out and push hard on his supervisors, only for his superior to send him, there, over, under, out, hidden for almost 25 years, and then they send him to me!! trying asking that 80-something year-old if you could have a couple minutes of her time to tell her a little bit of the hell you went through… and she spits on your pant leg and shoe and without even listening to one syllable of one word she convinces herself what you’re all about, and from the top steps, with the tall double doors held open for her and her companion, standing in front of a backdrop of an almost naked man nailed to a cross, she yells “money-hungry leech.” I only realized how thankful I am of that woman just recently, even though her comment really got under my skin and grinds my gears, at least she was able to control herself a bit better than the 20-timing (or more) alcoholic hustling pastor who shoved me outside his church and enticed the crowd to rip my head off. That little old lady was far kinder than the Polish woman who hurled coins and stones and my friends and I. She was not nearly as explicit as the vicar monsignor, who told me, while I was standing on the public sidewalk, “get the f#ck off church property.” Of course being called a “f#cking scumbag” and thousands of times told to “get a life,” called “worthless piece of sh!t,” pushed against a chain linked fence and on to a concrete sidewalk 6 weeks removed from a major back surgery, all trumps the eloquent insult by a little old lady who actually believes I care about money more than I care about revenge for being physically, sexually, psychologically tortured and tormented by God’s hustlers, when in fact I know exactly where she and the rest stand when the issue of protecting the most innocent and vulerable comes up……… and I am standing on the other side of the planet!

    Having been raped for several years of my childhood by two different men, forced into doing things that still churns my stomach when I think about them, and made to believe I was only good for a couple of disgusting scumbags to get their jollies off while I suffered, there is actually one group of people I hate more, and it’s the group of “supposed good” people who protect the group of disgusting scumbags!!

    • Rich the irony that the priest was then arrested for prostitution and drug charges a few months later is something I will never forget.

      Shortly after the 2011 GJ report I had a very lengthy phone conversation with an Archdiocese employee..a person in a key position..I listened to him boo hoo ,on and on about how betrayed the employees were by this latest GJ report etc…. he also gave me what would have been the scoop of the year only I didn’t believe him at the time and thought he was playing me.. turned out to be true.
      Any way fast forward to about 6 months later and I spoke to him again..his tone had changed..not as friendly and certainly not confiding in me like a few months prior. Somehow the conversation turned to talking about the First Friday vigils and he said something to the effect of “those people are trying to destroy the Church” Interesting..a few months before he worked in a “building full of liars” and then within months, the victims and families at the vigils were now the enemies of the church. Who knows the answer Rich..who knows.

      • People get what they deserve, Kathy!

        Oh how much I wanted to be at McCormick’s arraingment, but I was recovering from my back operation at the time.

        But then we found out he was texting with children without their parents knowledge also and we did something about it. Many of us here did what always should be done when an adult is secretly communicating with children. Right on people! There might be hope for humanity afterall.

        You know… you would think ALL adults would assume through mere common sense that texting a child without the parents knowledge is inappropriate, but I didn’t hear anybody in support of McCormick claim he was a genius either.

        Everytime I think of that day with McCormick, I immediately think of Rocky, because McCormick was on the steps of St. Tim’s Church looking like he was preparing for a fight like Rocky on the steps of the Art Museum, but you know – Rocky lost the first fight.

    • Rich: I wanted to respond to your post earlier but I have been having computer problems. I think they are fixed. Many people accuse victims of being after the Churchs’ money. Personally, I want nothing from the Catholic Church. When I talked to someone from the Philly DA”s office, she told me that the Church was willing to pay for therapy. I thought about that for about a minute before I rejected that idea. I was not willing to jump through any hoops to get them to do what should have happened a long time ago. As you know better than most. there is no amount of money that will ever make what happened to us go away. I find it amusing that people accuse us of being money grubbers when it was the Church who years ago started paying victims for their silence. Every victim had to sign a confidentiality agreement as part of any settlement. The Church was very willing to pay if they thought they ciould keep victims stories out of the news. This was part of their coverup. At the time I was molested by the assistant pastor of St. John of the Cross in Roslyn, my parents were going through some financial problems. With seven children to feed and my father out of work, the same priest who molested me gave my mother money for food. I witnessed this on two occasions. I just can’t get it out of my head that this guy thought he had a right to destroy my life,just because he was charitable to my family. I will never take a dime from the Church, because iI can’t help feeling there would be strings attached. This is a personal decision and I understand that many victims feel that they should be compensated for their fractured lives. I wish them luck but not me.

    • Rich, only a few on this site can relate to the incredible pain inflicted by your abuser. He had so much power and hate as a politician and easily manipulated those around him. NE Philly was a power base for the Catholic Church and the Oblates were looked as the moral compass for so many young men. Later, from the stories I heard in the 60’s that change for too many young men. As expressed by many, they had a feeling about certain priests, but who would tell their parents? Those who complained, whether parents or students were ridiculed by the priests. I know the effect of my mom’s complaint. Your abuser and the other two priests knew her from Judge and the one from politics did not forget her.

      I wish there was more attention to your abuser and that the Oblates would release the much needed documents. In my opinion, with his position at a certain summer camp he had influence that may have abused young children and lost vocations. I am not discussing much of this because of both hearsay and I believe much of your abuser’s influence is not allowed as evidence in trial. A nice flowchart would demonstrate with just the information from newspaper articles(bishop accountability and SNAP archives) the problems with the formation of Oblates and the influence of your abuser on the formation of potential priests. Your abuser met almost all of the potential priests and many had the knowledge of the lover who had a passkey to the door of many of the religious in formation(another priest). I know your abuser scared the shit of many both in politics and as a priest would have scare all of your critics A huge man who knew how to manipulate I would say he was a multiple abuser, but that would not even be close of a description of the man and the number of times he abused you, nor the number of times and the fact that there were other priests that shared their victims. There were reasons why he was transferred so much. There are so many that have and continue to block justice for the victims.

      I did try to post a few times before, but they are lost somewhere in cyberspace. Borrowed this laptop as my pc is fried and someone was kind enough to lend me this laptop.

  2. How this tears me up inside! We learned ” where would I go, You alone have the words,….” Our hearts were centered on a faith that gave us joy. The violation took this all away. The foundation is cracked.
    How can we keep our eyes on what is good to help us live a life of love when there is so much bad around in the mix. . We are starving and the only place a meal is available is in a place that is full of horrid triggers. I struggled to forgive my perp as forgiveness is supposed to bring healing, but how do we forgive when the institution keeps hurting innocents? How can we heal and focus on a message of love when it feels like we are in a cesspool?

  3. The cleric here has 2 allegations against him, so you want him publicly named to solicit more allegations? This is lynch law. I know two excellent priests who were suspended from ministry while allegations were checked — both found entirely innocent. The stress was terrific, and if your public naming and shaming tactic had been applied to these innocent men it would have been unbearable.

    • Joseph, I don’t doubt the incredible stress that false allegations would bring down on someone. And I realize it happens. However, child sex abuse is even worse, so extreme caution must be taken. Naming is not and never should be about shaming. It’s about giving parents the ability to make an informed decision while investigations are taking place. Statistically, far more priests were found guilty in the recent investigations. No one is soliciting allegations, but it can aid investigators in many ways.

      Also, If I were the mom of a victim, the last thing I would be concerned about is “shaming” a child sex abuser. Seems a bit light.

      But to your perspective, It’s undoubtedly a difficult time to be priest. I was at a funeral yesterday and watched the comfort the priest gave the family. It was beautiful. To think that other priests desecrated the position and made this man’s life more difficult is infuriating. Parents didn’t do this to this priest. The victims didn’t do this. Other priests did this to him – the ones who committed child sex abuse and the ones who covered it up.

    • Joseph I would recommend calling the Archdiocese and asking why in a span of 5 days the status went from resignation to temporarily removed. That was an Archdiocesan decision not a decision of this blog,victims or parents.
      You know 2 priests who were suspended from ministry while being investigated and the stress was terrific..bingo..exactly ..we agree. So my question to you is why would they leave someone who possibly abused children at a parish while also investigating him ? Why do this to the children? Why Joseph? Why have a possible child predator remain at a parish during the stress of an investigation? How does this make any sense?

      Also this blog did not write the letter alerting the parish to the sexual abuse allegations against Fr Paul..that was done by the Archdiocese..you have a problem with that..call them.

      You know 2 innocent priests..I know hundreds of innocent children..they did nothing to deserve this state of affairs.I notice the word “children” is missing from your comments. Sorry I don’t believe in children being guinea pigs

    • Also would this extend to anyone with allegations of child sex abuse?Do you also believe the local soccer coach, boy scout leader,youth group leader with allegations against them ,should have private investigations and the parents be kept in the dark while allowing their child in the presence of this person? That would not be okay with me..this isn’t anti priest…this is pro child.

      • Kathy, Who exactly does the investigation?

        • Crystal it handled by the Delegate of Investigations Office

          “The Delegate for Investigations, Mr. Al Toczydlowski, is now the point of contact for all complaints of misconduct ranging from potential boundary issues to allegations of sexual abuse. He is responsible for reporting all such complaints and allegations to law enforcement and oversees and facilitates all aspects of Archdiocesan investigations from receipt of a complaint through examination by the Archdiocesan Review Board to the presentation of a recommendation to the Archbishop. “

          • I guess I don’t really understand the AD process or the reasons a victim must comply with it. What good are these investigations if they are internally done? Aren’t they just a way of manipulating and controlling victims and information, suppressing scandal and minimizing damage to the AD?
            Why not just skip talking to Mr. T. at the “Office of the delegate for investigations” and just hire a criminal and/or personal injury attorney to pursue your rights?

          • Because the Archdiocese has the power to remove/not remove clergy and some violations are boundary violations which do not rise to a level of a crime. Also of course a person should contact local law enforcement to report abuse. An attorney can look out for a person’s rights but that doesn’t mean a clergy member is being removed..that comes from within the Archdiocesan system.

    • If the Catholic Church could be trusted to police themselves this so-called “lynch law” as you call it would not be needed. Many questions now arise because of the actions of the archdiocese. Why remove Fr. Paul from ministry now after he resigns. What has the archdiocese uncovered to make this move after so many years ? I will agree that it is sad that clergy members must be considered guilty before innocent in the goal to protect our children, but the blame for that rests on the shoulders of the catholic church and the way they have handled abuse cases. There is no trust. If you or anyone has a better idea to protect those innocent priests from shame lets hear it.

    • Joseph, I have seen my own parish priest taken away from the rectory due to an allegation. He was later cleared. Without getting into too many details, I do believe this priest was innocent. It took a toll on him, he seemed to age overnight. But you know what? Tough! That is how it had to be. He should have been removed while being investigated and his parishioners should have known. We had a right to know! And he was the one to tell us because he knew we should know. He believed he would be cleared and he was right – he believed in the process. He did not hide behind false claims of illness to explain his absence. How can you not understand that we are all just so sick of the lying and covering up? And then the false promises to do things differently going forward. Until it is isn’t, time and time again. In present time, not just 30 years ago. There has been no progress in how these situations are handled. The reason why Susan and Kathy used a public naming tactic is that NO ONE else will! And there is much shame in that! Shame on the AOP! Why should a priest have more consideration than any other person accused of child molestation? Just recently I saw on the news a story where a coach was accused of raping two young brothers. Should the news station not have named him because he hasn’t been tried or convicted yet? Don’t the parents of the other kids he has had contact with have a right to know? Back to Fr. Paul – why is this case being handled differently? The case with my parish priest was a few years ago and that was handled correctly. Why is the AOP taking several steps back on this case? From what I and others know about him I will be shocked if he is not removed from ministry. What is the hold up? How long can it possibly take to complete the investigation? These allegations came to light early this year and it is almost December. Why can’t the AOP commit to a deadline? Or is it that they have been flooded with emails and calls from people telling what they remember about Fr. Paul. Because he was named publicly many people did come forward. How is that a bad thing?

    • Joseph,

      First, I want suspected child sexual predators, whether they are members of the clergy or any members of society, to be immediately removed from any environment where they would have contact with children.

      Secondly, I personally believe that allegations of child sexual abuse against any person, clergy or non-clergy, should be released to the public immediately in order to determine whether or not there are indeed more victims of the accused. Publicly exposing a potential sexual predator would also give parents and children the vital information necessary to prevent the chances of the accused abusing another innocent child.

      Regardless of what your pastor may have preached to you, I assure you that allegations of child sexual abuse are investigated thoroughly by law enforcement and the district attorney’s office. There are a tiny number of allegations that are proven to be false in these cases, but I will agree it does happen, but those very few “criminals” who report false allegations are almost always weeded out, and are buried under a mountain of the tens-of-thousands who file fraudulent insurance claims in the US every year. Why aren’t you criticizing those criminals as well?

      I’d rather 15,000 allegations be proven false in the public forum than allow 1 allegation of a child truly being sexual abused to stay hidden. In every case of sexual abuse I’ve ever heard of, including my own, it was the responsibility of the accuser to prove his/her case. Sexual predators adopt specific grooming techniques they utilize to control and abuse their victims, and when several people who have never met one another and are interviewed separately, as is the standard in these types of investigations, and all retell the same story of grooming and abuse, you really don’t need to be a “rocket surgeon” to determine who’s telling the truth and who’s lying.

      You see, Joseph, you and I are different. You are misinformed and uneducated, but don’t worry, I can show you the way. You also currently believe everything your priest tells you. I differ from you in that I “used to” believe everything a priest was telling me too, then I realized he was wrong, he was a criminal, and he deserved to be punished for raping me and other children!

      I don’t agree with lying any scumbag child abusing priests or non-priests. I’d prefer they suffered a slow, torturous death… like the one they left me. And stress? Well boo hoo! If these supposed “men of God” had any integrity at all, and if they were truly Godly, they’d be forgiving of the person who falsely accused them in the first place, and more concerned with the intolerable stress a child suffers when being raped!

      Lastly, where is it printed that the “two excellent priests you know were found entirely innocent?” Please send me a link to the statement, “found entirely innocent.”

      Maybe if your “excellent” priests had the balls to stand up to their bishops and protect kids instead of ignoring kids being raped for 2,000 years, people like me wouldn’t be such staunch advocates for wanting to burn down your church! (Well maybe I still would.)

      Please send me that quote, Joseph, and peace out! I surely hope you don’t have any children, because if a priest or anyone ever abuses them, I’m very sure they won’t have you to run to for help.

      Rich

  4. Went to church today. Struggling to avoid the triggers the place gives me. Trying to discover if there is still a place for me there. We have a most wonderful priest as was the one before him who retired. Working themselves to death, giving and giving and giving. The problem is trying to trust their bosses. A connection to the institution we love is like going to visit at home in a house where there was incest and a parent ignored it. There is love and there is always the shadow of hurt. I really feel for the good guys!

    But if I had known that the guy that violated me was a serial pedophile I would not have stuffed the pain and suffered all these years. Another young girl I know personally was raped by the same guy. The other assistant at our parish was also violating kids. The pastor when we moved was another. My grandmother’s priest was a 4th. It’s like a horror movie where more ghouls jump out at very turn.

    • suzpt..it is good to get your feelings out..keep writing and commenting..I am sure there are others who can relate to you..many people follow this site, not all comment, but many with circumstances similar to your own that brings them here.

  5. And what the geniuses at the Archdiocese don’t realize is, by this secrecy and silence, they are actually incriminating priests being investigated – whether innocent or guilty. We are all here now asking – why did he stay in the parish, why haven’t they made an announcement that his faculties have been removed?

    Whereas, if as standard operating procedure, when there is an investigation, a priest is removed and suspended immediately, everything is portrayed equally. And, a statement such as, “Pending the results of our investigation, Father X has been removed from his parish/school/assignment and been temporarily suspended. This is accordance with Archdiocese guidelines and is not a presumption of guilt or innocence.”

    But that would take brains! And breaking up the all boys club!

  6. Thanks for your comment Kathy! I am happy to have found this site. My faith was so important and this has really shaken it. Hanging on by my fingernails

  7. Look how different this case from May 2013 was handled..one allegation from 40 years ago…Fr Paul 2 allegations from 45 years ago..how it was handled was night and day

    http://articles.philly.com/2013-05-28/news/39559460_1_administrative-leave-archbishop-charles-j-archdiocese

  8. Interesting though how the case of the Roman Catholic AD was announced through an “official” press release. We are still waiting for that release on Fr. Paul – we only know that he has been suspended through the persistence of Kathy and Susan!

    More of that old boys network mentality!

  9. Happy Thanksgiving! Thanks to all that take the time to discuss and act on these important issues. Peace.

    • OOPS! Didn’t mean to “thumbs down” your Happy Thanksgiving!! Probably too much turkey and chocolate cake and then hit the wrong button! I, too, am thankful for all of you who share on this blog and bring awareness.

      I believe the victims.

  10. A youth pastor and ninth grade basketball coach was arrested today in Lancaster county charged with sexually molesting a young teenage boy. He also took pictures on his cell phone of the abuse. An employee of the Church [which was not Catholic] discovered the pictures on a laptop at the Church and called authorities. The man charged had just recently been hired to coach the ninth grade basketball and had passed state police clearance.Obviously there needs to be better ways of screening adults who work with children. The abuse needs to end.

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