Editor’s note: What follows is the official archdiocesan statement on the recent removal of Father John Paul from ministry while allegations of child sex abuse are investigated. You may remember he resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary a few weeks ago. The Archdiocese was aware of an allegation dating back 30 years, but allowed him to remain in the parish without advising parents. New allegations came to light after his resignation and the first allegation was made public. Shouldn’t the safety of children have trumped privacy/secrecy?
December 15, 2013
ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING REVEREND JOHN P. PAUL
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has placed Reverend John P. Paul on administrative leave following allegations that he sexually abused minors over 30 years ago. While on administrative leave he is not permitted to exercise public ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, wear clerical attire or present himself publicly as a priest pending the outcome of the investigation.
This action is not connected to the resolutions of cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 Grand Jury Report announced earlier today.
Late last year and earlier this year, the Archdiocese received allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 40 years ago during his time as a seminarian.
Consistent with the Archdiocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People promulgated in October 2012, these allegations were reported to law enforcement, which, after a lengthy investigation, declined to press charges.
The allegations were also reviewed by the Archdiocesan Office of Investigations, the Office for Child and Youth Protection and the Office of the Vicar for Clergy. Those offices made a joint recommendation, approved by the Archdiocesan Professional Responsibility Review Board, and presented to the Archbishop, who decided to restrict Father Paul’s ministry so that he would have no unsupervised contact with minors pending the outcome of the internal Archdiocesan investigation that was in progress. Notification of his restrictions was made to administrators at the parish and the parish school. A monitoring and support plan was implemented and followed throughout that time.
On November 6, 2013, Father Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish, Philaldelphia, where he had been serving since 2000. He came to that decision of his own accord during the course of the Archdiocesan investigation regarding this alleged abuse.
Information Regarding Today’s Announcement
Following Father Paul’s resignation he moved to a private residence. He was not assigned to any parish and was not in active ministry. He continued to adhere to a monitoring and support plan. Subsequently, the Archdiocese received multiple, new allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 30 years ago. These allegations were reported to the appropriate district attorney’s office. Father Paul will remain on administrative leave pending any possible action by law enforcement and a full internal investigation. In keeping with standing Archdiocesan policy, that internal investigation will not proceed until after law enforcement has concluded its process.
An announcement regarding Father Paul was made at Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Philadelphia last month to explain the circumstances surrounding his resignation. An additional announcement regarding his administrative leave was made at the parish this weekend.
Father Paul is 67 years old. He was ordained in 1972. He served at the following parishes and schools: Saint Alphonsus, Maple Glen (1972-1974); Faculty, Archbishop Kennedy High School (1974-1975); Saint Isaac Jogues, Wayne (1974-1975); Faculty, Bishop McDevitt High School, Wyncote (1975-1986); Faculty, Saint James Catholic High School for Boys, Chester (1986-1990); Saint Robert, Chester (1986-1990); Faculty, Archbishop Kennedy High School (1990-1993); Saint Philip Neri, Lafayette Hill (1990-1995); Faculty, Kennedy-Kenrick High School, Norristown (1993-1997); Faculty, Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster (1997-2000); Saint Andrew, Newton (1997-2000); Our Lady of Calvary, Philadelphia (2000-2013); placed on administrative leave (2013).
To Make a Report
To report an allegation of sexual abuse, contact your local law enforcement agency and the Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.
To report a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, contact the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.
We recognize that this public notice may be painful to victims of sexual violence. If you need support or assistance, victim services and referrals are available to you through the Victim Assistance Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
28 thoughts on “Archdiocese Finally Makes Announcement on Father John Paul”
The quote in this article that there was nothing that lead the review board to believe he was a danger to children is priceless..maybe the fact that there was an allegation and then a second allegation might be a red flag?
“There was nothing there that was leading the review board to believe he was a danger to minors.”
Are these the words attorneys, or our moral leaders? Is there a difference (silver tongued devils!)?
We pay good money for these predictable well-crafted statements.
I think the AD officials should be drummed out of the education business. They and the system they represent are relics of miserable times gone by. These men lack the ability to responsibly serve children and their parents in this age… and the professionals who serve under them need to rethink their supporting roles in this decades-long disgrace.
“…..Notification of his restrictions was made to administrators at the parish and the parish school. A monitoring and support plan was implemented and followed throughout that time….”
What exactly is involved in this “monitoring” and “support plan”? Are the particular individuals at the parish and parish school TRAINED in the monitoring techniques and the activities involved in the support plan? Are the procedures involved in the MONITORING and SUPPORTING written down and available for public view by parishioners and the laity of the Phila Archdiocese?
What oversight is implemented to ensure that the monitoring and supporting is effective and being followed? What occurs when there are problems and deficiencies in the monitoring and supporting process? Are the parishioners of the parish notified when there are breakdowns in the monitoring and there exists a potential risk for the children at the church and school?
Mike I am going to go out on a limb and answer NO and of course I have been asking these type of questions for the past month…the more informed the question the more elusive the answer.
Aside from the technicalities we are both pointing out..who the in their right mind would go along with such a plan? Can you even imagine agreeing to not inform parents and “watch” a suspected accused clergy or any suspected or accused person?? How do could someone do this and look these parents/parishioners in the eye? HOW?
Weren’t there situations that came to light during Lynn’s trial about
monitoring and support plans that were in place for priests but no one knew they were part of such monitoring/support teams?
Yes Michele that is correct…the fact they they are still using “monitoring” plans and keeping the parents in the dark is stunning.
In the AD and parish press releases and the Inquirer articles about Fr. John Paul’s resignation and subsequent administrative leave, I find the emphasis on the following phrase —“law enforcement declined to file charges”–so strange. I am left wondering, might the emphasis on the claim about law enforcement declining to press charges be a way for the AD to avoid saying that the DA *could* not press charges because of the statute of limitations that the Archdiocese wants to preserve? Might the AD be afraid that saying as much raise the ire of parishioners so that they would moved to support changes to SOL legislation?
Interesting how the following seems to be the only article written about the Fr. Paul situation at OLC to mention the SOL.
Michele, I was yelling at the tv last night about the same thing – “declined to file charges”. As if to imply the allegations were not credible or not worthy of pursuing. Why not say they could NOT press charges? Why not mention the SOL? Why not explain that in this case as well as the others announced today, once the decision is made these men may be free to go where they want with no monitoring, etc.- with their full pension no less. It seems as if the news coverage was spoon fed to the reporters by the AD. I would love to see a more in depth news story about this – CNN, 60 Minutes, etc. Or some print articles pointing out all of these details. Most people don’t understand. They think not pressing charges = innocent.
I don’t know why I continue to care what happens within the catholic church after self ex-communicating myself, maybe I’m hoping things will change. But after reading the archdiocese allowed Fr. Paul to continue to work after sexual abuse allegations were reported it only gives strength to my feelings that parishioners should not ask but to demand to be part of what happens within side THEIR church.
Maybe the archdiocese could ask the good people of Catholics4Change for some advice.
I don’t care much about the Catholic Church either. I want to burn it down. The religion was forced upon me. I wasn’t given an option of whether or not I wished to be baptized or if I wanted to attend eleven years of Catholic school. I don’t even believe in god, or at least not just one god. I was born to parents who believed in Catholicism and it was their choice for me to be Catholic. My Constitutional rights as a citizen of the United States of America didn’t apply, because I was never given the freedom to believe in and practice any religion I wished. I don’t exactly blame my parents, because they weren’t given much of a choice by my grandparents either. I didn’t stray away from Catholicism, it strayed away from me when everything I had been taught from kindergarten and on proved to be a farce. The Catholic Church conditioned me to believe what I once did and to never question the validity and truth of their sermons.
Catholics will believe anything their priest tells them. If a priest says the sky is green, good Catholic parishioners won’t run outside to investigate if the sky is indeed green, because they simply believe that their god’s “hustler” wouldn’t lie to them. Catholic priests have a remarkable ability to twist reality, and though I was only a kid, I can’t really understand how I bought in to such bullshit. It wasn’t guilt either. It was fear. Absolute Fear! I believe now, unless people have walked the same path or have also endured similar significant trauma from their spiritual confessor, specifically while still just a child, they will never begin to understand that it was “fear” that kept me silent and pulled me back into the grasp of my abusers. I wasn’t operating within my own free will that I should respect the authoritative vision I once had for Catholic clergy, but rather within a realm that if I didn’t obey, I could certainly expect an uncomfortable punishment.
I was also abused at Father Judge, by a borderline sadistic scumbag named Rev. John M. McDevitt. Most people I meet can’t really understand the root of my angry and where it comes from, even when I explain what happened to me. Their assumption that the only reason I stepped forward and reported the abuse nearly five years ago hinges on my anticipation of some sort of “payday,” when in fact my reasons for reporting the abuse to the D.A.’s office in Philly was all about the Absolute Fear I had that McDevitt may still be out in the world abusing more children. I’m only able to disguise my anger for what happened when rage sets in and people ignore the overwhelming truth that priests (and nuns) are still abusing children right under their noses. Instead of thanking me for finally finding the courage to confront the most humiliating reality of my life, they curse me and they assume that I care more about money than the innocent children that my truth might be able to protect. Too many people care not unless it is their child who has been abused, and sadly even more so, too many people still don’t care when discovering it actually is their child who has been abused. Do you know why, Dennis? It’s because good, god-fearing Catholic parishioners believe everything their priest tells them and the truth doesn’t matter.
The truth matters to me!
I also understand your hesitation while in the company of priests. I can relate, because while my mother was battling terminal cancer a couple of years ago and I had become her primary caretaker, we spent quite a few stretches in the hospital. She always preferred to be taken to Shore Memorial Hospital in Somers Point, NJ, and while that isn’t a Catholic hospital it does have a chapel and at least two Catholic priests assigned to it. I wrote about some incidences on this blog when they occurred, including the fact that every time my mother stayed in this hospital her room was always on the same floor of the chapel, and her room was only accessible from one set of elevators that were adjacent to the chapel when the doors opened to that floor. I hated the fear of that elevator ride everyday. It didn’t ever help much that I had already known well that most priests who are removed from parishes for abusing children are often shuffled to hospitals to serve as their chaplains. It didn’t take long for one of the two chaplains I had always seen to discover that my mother was the niece of the late Cardinal of New York, John J. O’Connor, and I guess he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to pay us a visit. (A simple Google search of my mother’s last name may have persuaded such a stupid idea, but priests are generally ignorant anyway.) My mother told him that she wasn’t interested in his company, and only after he tried harder I guess he realized that I was serious when I asked him if he could fly or if he thought we’d be able to hear the splat from the 4th floor. He never came back to the room again and neither did his accessory. Unfortunately that didn’t end the run-ins with priests in the hospital and this post would be even longer if I mentioned all of them.
I have no care for the Catholic Church. My only concern for what occurs within their walls is that what happened to me might be happening to another child and I refuse to turn my back on them much in the same way so many people turned their backs on you and I. It sucks, Dennis, that we have to figure out a way to fight through our own lives in order to survive, only to discover that we now have to fight for the innocent children who remain to make certain that they survive without ever knowing what it feels like to be dead… dead inside. At 37, I haven’t been able to understand my purpose in life, but I hope that maybe I’ll get a glimpse of that light at the end of the tunnel people keep telling me about, and if it ever appears, I’ll run toward it and catch it. In the meantime, we have to keep going. We have to keep pushing forward. We have to shout until our voices are heard. Children are depending on us!
Rich Green (Comrade in Survival)
Such wisdom from an 8-year-old who writes all of his own lyrics.
Contact me if you need to talk with anybody, Dennis. Also, for anybody, most especially Jim, I have a new email because my usual one was hacked in like September and Yahoo suggested it was safer to just change my email altogether. So my new one is PotRoastOrCornedBeef@live.com Jim, send me another email so I have your address or maybe even your phone number if you’re comfortable with that. Anybody else who tries to contact me through my old email can just change it to my new one.
Peace Out Bean Sprouts!
Thank you for your directness and authenticity. You do not put on masks, like the Catholic Church does. Your genuineness communicates a willingness to be authentic. There something very human about you and it seems there is a genuineness and the depth of feelings from you. You communicate to me you are concerned for the truth, even at the risk of being censured by those who hold traditional values. Your emotional honesty may well antagonize the church or at least embarrass it, yet you bring to society an example how to be human. Your message appears to be you want others to be true to their humanity. And maybe the church “told” you who you were not rather than the value of who you are, yet I say paradoxically you are a life-enhancing individual, sensitive and emotionally strong. There appears to be a respectful sensitivity within you and this appears to be who you are. It is this respect you bring to the world. Your respect is the quality of inspiration. Wow, thank you for the human being you are!
In my deepest respect,
Geez… I really don’t know what to say, Syd. I guess all I can really say is thank you for your words. I don’t know how accurate they are, because I don’t really see me in the way you see me.
I have worried that I think sometimes people just brush me aside because of the way I live my life and how much I value honesty and integrity in other people, but most importantly – in myself. I’ve written a lot of words on this website since it was founded by Susan and Kathy, and I am thankful that such good people exist and they were able to provide me with an outlet for my words. I’ve been able to get some very helpful feedback (and sometimes not so helpful lol) from a lot of other good people who regularly comment here (as well as some really screwed up people whose comments I could go without). I think sometimes this place has been really good medicine and therapy for me, especially during the times I was struggling to keep my head above water. It’s ironic, because I never imagined I’d find understanding, acceptance, people who believe me, respect me, and share good advice from any place with the word “Catholic” in its name. These Catholics here managed to repair their own image in my eyes and I now believe that “not all Catholics are horrible people.” (Though I still believe ALL Catholic clergy who stand idly by in silence are in fact horrible people!)
I’ve been involved with attorneys, media outlets, support organizations, and single support advocates, and there have been times when I’ve been asked (in other words) to embellish the truth or even flat-out lie. All of my friends know well enough, and they’d be able to tell you without hesitation that the one thing I can’t handle is when I’m lied to. I don’t put up with it from anybody! If someone lies to me, be they friend or family, I will walk away. I don’t want anything at all to do with them. I don’t care if it’s a little white lie or a big fat holy shit lie. Either way, I view it as anyone who would lie to me would probably also do other things to me I wouldn’t like either, and that’s the only proof I need for knowing undoubtedly that that person has no respect for me and obviously no respect for themselves. There is no one I feel who is too important or even those of least concern to me that I would ever justify my need to lie to them. I won’t lie to my friends or my enemies. I expect honesty in return.
I believe the abuse I endured altered my personality, mentality, psychology, and the way in which I view the world and the people within it. I mean, how could it not? I was 6 when it started and three months shy of my 15th birthday when it ended. Is 6-years-old even at the age of reason yet? Of course I can’t agree that I’m happy that I was abused, but I can’t argue that I’m a better person, which I believe is directly related to having been abused. I think I always wanted to be a man that people could respect and trust and I credit that specifically to having been sexually abused. I think I just wanted to be the opposite of those evil creatures who altered me.
Many victims claim they have come forward only to protect present and future children from being sexually abused, and while I consider that aspect to be the single most paramount reason I reported the abuse to the District Attorney, made my story public, and demonstrate against the Catholic Church while trying to change current laws in every state, that’s not the only reason I am doing this. I want revenge! The people who claim they don’t want the same, at least in even some small way, are either lying or have never been “forced” to walk a single step down the path I have. However, I don’t seek revenge by picking up a gun or a club, though I do want that evil institution to burn to the ground. I seek to change frivolous laws that protect the perpetrator rather than the victim. I want a world that allows children to speak and people who will listen. I want to people to protect children instead of their colleagues, or husbands, aunts, coaches, babysitters, etc. I want there to be schools, playgrounds, friend’s houses, churches, and bedrooms where children can be and play safe. I don’t think that’s too much to expect and I even think it’s very simple to achieve.
But, the world will always suck big time, as long as people see, hear, or think something bad is happening and ignore it, stay silent, and walk away. As it seems the way it will continue though, I’ll keep talking and they’ll keep hiding. I’ve got the truth and they’ve got lies, lies, lies.
I sincerely thank you, Syd. Your words seem to be somewhat over-the-top for me, because I think I’m really just like anybody else who values good over evil. I like it when the good guy wins. Good guys should always win. I will always appreciate your comment and I will always stay true to who I am, and thankful for the aspects you have seen in me that at least make me feel better about myself and give me hope that maybe I am making some kind of impact.
I honor you for the work you do in the church for the protection of children from the culture of clerical superiority. May you and your families have a Merry Christmas even as you carry this trouble always in your heart. May you have the support you need to help you maintain hope for good. May you have strength as you continue to shed light on the evil and tell the truth to and about those who would hide it. I do not know you other than through your emails, but I am proud of you.
I’ve posted this item on the previous topic, but I feel it needs to be done once more:
HONESTY, HEALING AND HOPE IN CHRIST
CONFRONTING SEXUAL VIOLENCE IN OUR ARCHDIOCESE
What follows the two headings above at this website is over two dozen archdiocesan announcements over the past two years…….
Two questions in this holy season: Where is the HONESTY? and When did it ever become OUR archdiocese?
The word, CONFRONTING, is interesting also, in the context of clergy sexual abuse. The definition of confront is to meet, come up against, encounter………….. The word, CONFRONTING, is definitely an action word and suggests that archdiocesan management is vigorously addressing these concerns. However, archdiocesan management has been CONFRONTING these child sexual abuse concerns for many years, long before the first GJR in 2005. What was the archdiocese doing prior to 2005 when CONFRONTED with child sexual abuse allegations?
For a response to the last question, one can check with the archdiocese’s Bishop Michael Fitzgerald (a civil attorney) who is the founding director of the Office of Legal Services for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, serving in that capacity from 1991 through 2004.
During those 14 years, what did Bishop Fitzgerald do when CONFRONTING clergy sexual abuse allegations and reports in his capacity as a civil attorney and director of legal services for the archdiocese?
The archdiocese notes that it informed the Police Department of the allegations of abuse giving the impression of cooperation, however the archdiocese knew that the SOL had expired on these cases as they happened many years ago. There will be no healing nor any chance of recovery until the SOL is removed and the Window legislation is enacted and until then chaput and those in Harrisburg who oppose this are just a guilty as the enablers and abusers !
My attacker from Father Judge was Father Robert Hermley OSFS.
I mention his name from time to time. I am not out to degrade his name he had already done that to himself.
By mentioning his name I hope to connect with others he has abused. I NEED TO SAY I’M SORRY and ask for their forgiveness. I am so very sorry I waited to report what he did to me and allow him to harm you. I am so very sorry.
I was thirteen years old. I was scared and ashamed. It gave me no right to allow what he did to me happen to you.
PLEASE FORGIVE ME.
Dennis if you met a man who was abused by the same priest and came to find out his abuse took place a year before your own..would you blame that man who was abused as a child?
You are taking on a responsibility that is heart breaking. Of course you are sorry that others may have been harmed, I am too, but you did not in any manner cause it or allow it to happen to them.
You would never blame his victims that may have been a few weeks,months or years before you..they were kids..you were a kid Dennis..there was one monster in this abuse and it wasn’t the 13 year old.
When you write how sorry you would be if you found out that a child was abused after you had already been abused by the same priest, I can’t argue with you on that one, because I have felt that shame as well. Fourteen victims came forward after my story became public in the summer of 2009 and all had been abused by McDevitt before 1990-91, when he abused me. I have worried that my silence and inaction may have contributed to my scumbag abuser abusing more children, and I really don’t know how I would feel if I’m ever confronted with information that another child was in fact abused after me. I think your concern is legitimate and understandable, yet the blame you place upon yourself for the criminal and immoral actions perpetrated by a deviant priest on another potential victim is misguided and pointing your finger in the wrong direction.
You have no idea how much I have blamed myself for the “possible, likely, maybe, hopefully not, what if” McDevitt abused a child after he abused me. That’s a really heavy weight to carry around, brotha. I am actually somewhat thankful you posted these concerns here, because it really allows me to put into perspective, from words I didn’t write, just how WRONG and BACKWARDS my thinking was not so long ago. Blaming ourselves is exactly what our abusers want us to do. From the moment they begin to abuse us they want us to feel shame and self-hatred for ourselves, because the shame and self-hating is something that should belong to them, and I believe they know it too. You can’t allow yourself to be sorry for something you had absolutely no control over. You were 13, yes? I was abused by two different men between the ages of 6 – 14-years-old. Sexual abuse by adult men was a gigantic part of my childhood, and to be 100% clear, my abuse may have started before the age of 6, but I have no memory before that age to conclusively determine exactly when the abuse began. At 6-years-old, or 10, or 13, our brains aren’t totally developed and we don’t have the maturity, nor the instinct to understand what is happening to us, why it’s happening, and how to stop it, especially when our abusers are priests or adults we admire and respect.
McDevitt abused children! Hermley abused children! I have never abused a child and I’m sure you haven’t either, Dennis. We cannot blame ourselves for being responsible because we can’t blame ourselves for being innocent, defenseless, immature, undeveloped children. The abusers are responsible, period! So please… get that worthless, crazy shit out of your mind.
I realize as time passes and I read more and talk to more people like you and I, Dennis, just how screwed up and different we victims think. There has been numerous times when my partner or a friend will listen to me talk about something I believe is absolutely, without doubt, 100% accurate and true in my own mind, only for them to tell me “That isn’t right, Rich. That’s not how things are supposed to be. That’s something you learned from abuse.” That happens more than you can imagine. Children are persuasive. They get into cars with total strangers all the time, even after their parents warned them not to accept candy from or talk to people they don’t know. Children trust.
The point is simple, Dennis. Our abusers altered us psychologically and emotionally in the moment they laid their hands on our bodies uninvited and inappropriately. Man, I struggle with the blame game as much as any other victim, but when I’m of sound and sane mind (which is actually more often than I give myself credit for), I have to know that I wouldn’t blame any other 6-year-old or 13-year-old for having been sexually abused and because of that – I can’t blame myself. You are as responsible for other children being sexually abused by Scumbag Hermley as you are for convincing President Truman to drop a nuclear bomb on Hiroshima. IT WASN’T MY FAULT and IT WASN’T YOUR FAULT EITHER, Dennis! If someone comes forward tomorrow to report that he/she was abused by Hermley after you, IT IS STILL NOT YOUR FAULT!
Finally, if you’re not going to drag a scumbag child rapist through the mud then I will… Father Robert Hermley OSFS was, is, and should always be known to the world as an evil, demented, cowardly scumbag who sexually abused innocent children! (As was Rev. John M. McDevitt OSFS)
Be easy on yourself, brotha. You deserved better then and you deserve better now.
By the way, Dennis, I gave you the “thumbs down.” You’ve got to change your thought process, brotha!
We were ALL scared and ashamed! Damn, I’m still scared and I still have my battles with shame too, but you didn’t let anything happen to anybody. And who do you think you would’ve told anyway? Chances are you would’ve picked a priest to tell and it would’ve been swept under the rug anyway. If your parents were anything close to the way mine were, you would’ve been called a liar and I would’ve been ushered up to see my uncle, the Cardinal, for saying something so sacrilegious (LOL). We didn’t tell anybody because we knew we wouldn’t be believed, Dennis. So it’s pointless to carry the blame.
Your apologies are meaningless, because they are so completely unwarranted. If you want to be sorry about something so much, be sorry if you find out that Scumbag Hermley died peacefully! I hope he suffered the way he made you suffer!
You had every right to do what you did. You were 13! You did what you had to do to survive and that’s a good thing, and if anybody ever blames you for fighting to survive, please give me a call so I can have a go at such an ignorant ass.
“It’s about realizing, painfully, you’ve kept that voice inside yourself, locked away from even yourself. And you step back and see that your jailer has changed faces. You realize you’ve become your own jailer.”
This song is for you, brotha. Keep your head up!
I love catholicphilly.com and how they minimized this. The lead says 2 of 7 priests returned to ministry. Classic move from this Archbishop and a bogus review board. I love the “Spin” …..“rigorous investigative process” found that Father Navit “more likely than not” violated “The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries,” …….
Personally, I more likely than not stopped at Wawa for coffee!
I thought the exact same thing..5 were removed..wouldn’t it have made more sense to go with the higher number for the headline..hmmmm no
THERE WAS NO NOTIFICATION TO PARENTS AT ALL! The first we found out about it was when he resigned. I am sick to my stomach over it. How can the Archdiocese, parish or school not inform us to what is going on? In my time at the parish there has been 6 priests! Brennan, Gana, Gillespie, John Paul, Peter Tolocci, Wiejata…….I feel like we are the dumping ground of the city.
This past Sunday this is what was read:
Dearest Friends in Christ:
Last month we were all informed that Father John Paul had decided, of his own accord, to resign as Pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish. His decision came within the context of allegations of improper conduct involving minors that dated back 45 years when he was a seminarian. After investigating those allegations, civil authorities chose not to pursue any legal action. Today, I am providing an update concerning his status, which is presented in detail in the printed announcement available at the back of the Church.
Following the announcement of Father Paul’s resignation, as has frequently occurred in cases where allegations have been found to be either unsubstantiated or credible, new complaints were received by the Archdiocese concerning similar misconduct that is alleged to have occurred some 30 years ago. As was the case with the unsubstantiated allegations, the new ones do not involve any current or past member of Our Lady of Calvary, and they are not alleged to have occurred here.
Consistent with Archdiocesan policy, as was the case with the unsubstantiated allegations, these new ones were reported to law
enforcement authorities for investigation. Archbishop Chaput has placed Father Paul on administrative leave, during which he will not be permitted to exercise public ministry, administer any sacraments, wear clerical attire or present himself publicly as a priest. The Archdiocese will be issuing a news release Sunday afternoon explaining this. I will keep you informed concening develoments as quickly and prudently as possible.
In my short time as your Pastor, what has most impressed me is the sincere good will that you have shown to one another, the boundless affection you have for your children, and the depth of your faith. I am
inspired by and share your devotion to one another, to our children, and our Church. As we gather for the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, we do so in the season when we prepare the way for Christ’s entry into the world. He came to conquer sin and death, and His example leads us to believe in the redemption of our fallen nature and the promise of eternal joy with God our Father.
Let us pray for one another and, most importantly, as a Parish Family.
I want for once, one priest/nun to express anger, outrage…..to just be as pissed off as I am right now….not just feel good letters as above.
We have 5 1/2 months of school left…my daughter is in 8th grade…Please pray for a charter school acceptance. How much more can we take? Sorry for the rant
Sue I cannot imagine being a parent in this situation.. ..they lack some type of compassion,common sense or common decency..no one does this to a parent..no one withholds information about a possible predator as parents are dropping their children off at a school each day .How did the people who knew look the parents in the eye? How? Who is capable of doing this..not informing parents of even the possibility of a predator in their midst? Who..How? There are no answers. Rant away..they would be peeling me of the ceiling
.No one thinks of the kids in these situations..no one. It infuriates me..we tell them to “Tell” while the adults who know “keep quiet” We have them in those safety environment classes while their is a possible predator a few hundred feet away in the rectory. Infuriating ,the message this sends children.
Your pain is our pain. I was abused by two priests from the same parish in East Norriton, St. Titus. Traveling through our parish were removed from ministry -Cudemo, Trauger, Schmeer and Furmanski. I know how you feel. Your actions can make a difference in the future of our children. I would research what is being done in Harrisburg and ask your State Rep. and State senator to support SB681 w/ Rozzi amendments. Your in the right spot….lots of great people on this blog.
Sue – if anyone on this forum has the power to get answers, you do. He was monitored – HOW, BY WHO? He did not have access to children – so he did not say mass for the school, hear confessions, visit classes? As Kathy Kane and Susan have said previously, something is very wrong with this case?
And what are the children of the school being told? Is counseling being provided to them?
As has been stated by many on this blog, the scars of abuse run very deep and take years to heal. You, as a parent, should be outraged and demand answers! Who is the Archdiocese protecting – the victims or the abuser?
It seems to me that every time the Church makes these announcements, they emphasize that the allegations are from thirty , forty or more years ago. I feel that they are saying that because these accusations were from years ago they carry less weight than if the occurred yesterday, last week or last year.Frankly, Every person who has ever been abused sexually by a Catholic priest deserves to be taken seriously, no matter how long ago the abuse happened. I noticed that after John Paul resigned , there were more victims who came forward. Obviously, the Church would prefer little to no media coverage. Because the more publicity that occurs , the more victims come forward.I believe that is why the Archbishop has not been in any hurry to issue these reports. AS for me,I was abused some fifty two years ago. The priest passed away in the late eighties. I too would like to know how many others were abused by him. I claim no responsibility for others who came afterwards. I tried to tell the adults in my life. They didn’t believe me.