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.