Click here to read: “Phila. Archdiocese puts priest on administrative leave,” by Dylan Purcell, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, Feb. 15 (updated Feb. 16)
Excerpt: The archdiocese said Sunday it had placed the Rev. Louis J. Kolenkiewicz, 47, on leave, “in an abundance of caution.”
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput took the action in response to new information stemming from allegations that were investigated twice before, in 2005 and 2011.
The archdiocese did not disclose details of the allegations but said Kolenkiewicz was alleged to have violated ministry standards regarding the boundaries of appropriate behavior for interacting with children and young people.
The allegations did not involve illegal or inappropriate contact with a minor, the archdiocese said in a statement.
34 thoughts on “Father Louis Kolenkiewicz Placed on Administrative Leave”
LETTER TO THE EDITOR OF THE PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER:
Once again, Philadelphia’s Archbishop Charles Chaput has released as little information as possible regarding a priest, the Rev. Louis J. Kolenkiewicz, “alleged to have violated ministry standards regarding the boundaries of appropriate behavior for interacting with children and young people,”but Chaput did it “in an abundance of caution,” even though, supposedly, “the allegations did not involve illegal or inappropriate contact with a minor, “Phila. Archdiocese puts priest on administrative leave,” (02/16/15).
Then what “allegations” against Kolenkiewicz is the archdiocese reviewing?
Sounds like Chaput’s definition of the accountability and transparency promised by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2002.
And the definition of obfuscation is?
Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Advocate for Victim/Survivors&Legislative Reform
New Castle, Delaware
Transparency? Obfuscation? Arrogance? Hubris? Hypocrisy? Elitist?…….
By the way, I would submit that the “abundance of caution” is for Chaput’s benefit and that of his leadership. Dozens of instances throughout the Grand Jury Reports where Archdiocesan leadership did not care to act “in an abundance of caution” for our children and young adults re sexual abuse. Rather, the priests with allegations against them were handled as “moveable feasts.”
Obfuscation from the leaders of Our Church, WHAT? The RCC is the ultimate Enigma machine.
Sister, I totally agree with you! They cannot think outside the box and let priests marry and have a moral sexual outlet. I know there is more to it than that but really, how stupid do they think we are?
The insinuation that politically connected clerics (politically connected either inside or outside the Church) fare better in the face of sexual abuse and/or misconduct accusations is an interesting one. The fact of the matter is that centuries of church history prove the truth of it. No wonder careerism continues to inflict a lot of the good old boys.
Why does the article instruct victims to contact the Archdiocesan Office of Investigations and not the police?
Kolenkiewicz was investigated in 2005 and 2011. Now, he’s being investigated in 2015. Is there any chance that his holiness, Fr. Kolenkiewicz, himself, in persona Christi, will provide the truth, and nothing but the truth, concerning the allegations made against him? And, what if he is willing to provide the truth but his holy superiors don’t like his truths and they insist on defending his lies?
You are so wrong… in 2011 March, Father Kolenkiewicz wrote piece in his parish bulletin that was critical of Cardinal Rigali’s methods in dealing with the (at that time) 21 priest that were accused. He basically said that he knew that many of them were falsely accused. He spoke out against authority and was removed within two months.
This is political, but not the way you believe it to be. Father Louis Is a very Pious man and very conservative. Could it possible be that he wrote, or said, something that was contra to the new wave of liberalism expressed by our new Pope?
For you to accuse this man of lying is in itself a sin..
sounds like you are on the right track !
many people have approached that same idea !
I guess this is what they mean by speaking in tongues .When Chaput gives these responses to the news media, he should offer to provide a translator .What the hell did all of that mean? This priest has been investigated before and they found no reason to relieve him of his duties. Now he did nothing wrong with regard to children legally but crossed some line established by the Archbishop. Only thing is nobody knows what line he crossed. I am totally confused. But I suppose that’s the whole idea.,
No religious denomination, not Catholic, Protestant, Baptist, Latter Day Saints, Jews, Muslims, Boy or Girl Scouts, Boystown, College, University or any other religious, public or private group can or should be trusted to police itself as far as the sexual abuse of children, young women, men or vulnerable adults are concerned. They have failed time and time again. That responsibility belongs to society.
Bishop Charles Chaput has misrepresented and opposed Statute of Limitation Reform in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as he opposed SOL reform, successfully, in Colorado.
Just how many hundreds of thousands of dollars has be spent to use the lobbying expertise of the PA Catholic Conference in Harrisburg? How many hundreds of thousands of dollars has been spent on Public Relations firms?
Support the removal of all SOLs regarding sexual abuse and let’s start with childhood victims of sexual abuse by anyone.
Sister Maureen Paul Turlish
Advocate for Victim/Survivors of Childhood Sexual Abuse&Legislative Reform
Does the RCC leadership throughout the country actually believe that informed laity cannot see through their spin, smoke, transparency(?), obfuscation, fairy tales, and half-truths? If you really want to see communication in action, go to http://www.catholicphilly.com and try to post an idea, comment or issue that does not perfectly align with the leadership philosophy.
All I know is that warmed my heart that the majority of the “red hats” given out last week in Rome went to leaders in remote areas and south of the equator.
The rumor was that he had issues with adult, legal pornography.
Then this MAY BE a sin; but no crime was comitted, so I don’t care.
It would take more than that to warrant admin. leave. “was alleged to have violated ministry standards regarding the boundaries of appropriate behavior for interacting with children and young people.”
At least provide the full details – The allegations did not involve illegal or inappropriate contact with a minor, the archdiocese said in a statement.
I have posted the Standards in the past..they are accessible to all and the opening paragraph explains the Standards are in relation to children and young people. I have no idea what the allegations are or what has been investigated in relation to this priest but here are the Standards as the Archdiocese defines them in relation to children and young people.Their words, not mine.
I totally agree with you jimtucker
Put you hard earned $ in the collection basket so it can line the pockets of some SSSSS lawyers and PR teams to keep the SOL. Don’t recall reading that in the gospels
Oops. Meant $$$$$$
This is pathetic. They make it sound like he was suspended for good reason for three years…but they never announced a suspension. He took a “personal leave”. How dare they try to make it look now like they took appropriate action with him.
And they wonder why the “numbers” for attendance every Sunday are hitting rock bottom?
I always tell people to Stop the Money! That might make them think about their lies and cheating. There are plenty of Catholic Charities who could do a lot with our money. This is so sad and disgusting!
Today, I attended the funeral of an elderly, pious, Catholic woman. In the first 4 pews were her nine children, their spouses, and her 17 grandchildren. Not one took the Eucharist. None. After the Mass, the priest said to me, “Pray for them. Their consciences and intellect will change the Church.” I replied, “And how will you change it?” Got the usual sheepish look…
I know Chaput doesn’t want to change the Church which is why he speaks in tongues and emits garbled and unreal messages.
Katherine: The last time I set foot in a Catholic Church was my mothers’ funeral Mass. That was some twenty years ago. I believe one of my six siblings took Holy Communion. The rest have left the Church. The priest who did the homily, talked about my mother being saintly. Now, my mother had a very difficult life trying to raise seven children with little help from her husband. She had an extremely difficult childhood, being the youngest of ten children, growing up during the depression. But she was no saint. She put her Church and her God above everything. It saddened her greatly that almost all of her children had rejected the Church she adored. She blamed herself. Before she died, when I was about forty I went to talk to her about the abuse I had endured when I was a twelve year altar boy. She was distraught and blamed herself .After talking to her parish priest, the one who called her saintly at her funeral Mass, She questioned whether I was making the whole thing up. Our relationship pretty much ended then and she aged very quickly .The Pope will come to Philadelphia in September with the focus being on the Catholic Family. I am certain my family will not be a focal point, but perhaps it should be. There are many, many Catholic Families just like mine.
Krol knew and covered-up for sexually abusive priests of children, young women, men and vulnerable adults. So did Bevilacqua and Rigali And Chaput? He will do anything he has to do to successfully defeat SOL Reform in Pennsylvania just as he did in Colorado. Read my articles on Chaput in the Denver Post and in the National Catholic Reporter. They are posted on http://www.richardsipe.com along with many others.
Katherine, the priest you mentioned above KNOWS he is complicit in all of this. More’s the shame.
After trying to understand the process of investigations, reporting, admin leaves etc.. and being involved in some cases.. I can absolutely say that I could believe that anyone is capable of getting the sort end of the stick in going through this process…whether that be the person being investigated, the person reporting concerns or a victim who has been harmed. In one case I had to correct the Archdiocese concerning the actual age of the person being investigated..they had him as 30-40 years older than his actual age..turns out they had looked up this person’s family member information by mistake. I have little to no faith in the office or the process and any clergy being investigated needs to ask for the “Fr Paul Package”..allowed to stay at the parish while being criminally and internally investigated and then a bizarre send off article that read like a jubilee celebration article on Catholic Philly.
I’ve known Fr. Kolenkiewicz, though wr have not been friendly in many years. Like all of us, Fr. Lou has human faults. I have known him since he was in 8th grade. Even that far back, he always wanted to be a priest. I also remember the day he was ordained, his many masses, when he officiated over family wedding and many other occassions. To say Lou utterly enjoyed everything about being a priest would be a great understatement. My prayers go out to Lou and his family. Let’s reinstate this good priest!!
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia is claiming now, in 2015, that in 2005, Fr. Louis Kolenkiewicz was involved in an “incident” that occurred that violated the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, and they have not revealed and are not revealing what the allegations are, only that they had nothing to do with children. The claim, in this Feb. 14, 2015 press release, is that the incident was investigated in 2005 by law enforcement and the “charges” were determined to be unfounded. At that time in 2005, no information was listed about Father Kolenkiewicz’s “alleged violation” in the press, and he was not put on leave, even though concurrently, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia with Cardinal Rigali as shepherd, was deeply embattled in a bitter public lawsuit resulting in the release of the infamous Grand Jury report outlining many sexual scandals and cover-ups that had occurred during the years of Archdiocesan leadership under Cardinals Krol and Bevilacqua, and the Archdiocese was being encouraged to be more transparent.
In 2011, while Cardinal Rigali was still at the helm of the Philadelphia Archdiocese, another lawsuit was filed against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Over 30 priests were initially named, then the list was narrowed down to 26 who were placed on leave/suspended for various degrees of alleged violations of the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries guidelines during the time periods that Cardinals Bevilacqua and Rigali were shepherds of Philadelphia. Fr. Kolenkiewicz was not one of this original group of over 30 tht was narrowed down to 26 priests suspended, accused or convicted. Father was pastor of Our Lady of Peace parish in Delaware County, PA, at the time. He had written about his displeasure with the handling of the 2011 Grand Jury situation in the Archdiocese and the lack of support from “higher ups” for fellow priests in his parish bulletin. (No, not a prudent idea). Father was removed as pastor of his parish and placed on personal leave by Cardinal Rigali shortly thereafter (the “removal” listed in the Archdiocesan website ONLY, not any newspapers, as Father being on “administrative leave”, but parishioners at Our Lady of Peace were told he was “unsuitable for ministry”, but not given the reason why) the first week of September 2011, a few days before Cardinal Rigali’s retirement.
Enter Archbishop Chaput as new shepherd for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia September 8, 2011, Our Blessed Mother’s Nativity Feast. Freshly thrown into the nightmare of lawsuits, child abuse, accusations of cover-ups, Archbishop Chaput suggested to Fr. Kolenkiewicz to continue his “time off”, to use it as personal leave. The “leave” went from “personal leave” to “administrative leave” and stretched into 3 years! Again, the Feb. 14, 2015 press release indicated that this “alleged” 2005 “violations” of the Standards, were investigated several times by law enforcement, and reviewed multiple times by a separate panel of experts in 2011, and Father was not found to be in violation and was recommended as being able to return to ministry.
Here are the questions that seem to lead to more questions…:
Why sideline Father for three years for something that he did not do?
Why re-sideline him in 2015, after three years on leave, cleared and returned ministry, because of “extreme caution” due to alleged evidence brought forth now in 2015, ten years later, for a “violation” that was cleared and yet still not named?
Why isn’t a police report from law enforcement’s 2005 investigation made available if Father has not done anything wrong?
Is there even a law enforcement report that exists about this investigation from 2005?
Why subliminally link these “alleged” violations to a violation against children (the way that the information was released and worded seemed to be strongly associated with children)?
I am sure that Father accepts these difficulties and crosses as part of God’s Will for him… to suffer with Our Lord Who suffered so greatly for each one of us. Yes, I am sure he wishes to be a priest formed in Christ’s image. Yet, I am asking, why this step of removal now? Father is conservative in his views and faithful to the Magisterium, but outspoken in Truth.
I have to wonder, with Philadelphia hosting the “World Meeting of Families” event this year – a supposed Catholic event of the Catholic Church – yet, having Muslim, atheist, and other religious-denominational speakers who are “experts” on families being promoted as “highlights’ of this event, in addition to the “visit” by Pope Francis, do they not want priests present who might “rock the boat” and speak out openly in favor of traditional marriage and family views?
If folks reading this, a guess it’s called a blog, would really read and try to assimilate what you have said here, they may get some small understanding of what is happening to Father Kolenkiewicz. This man is not a good priest, he is a great priest. There is nothing he wants more than to serve the Lord and His mother. He was sent to Our Lady of Peace parish with instructions from Rigali to close it down. Within a few months he was promoted to pastor and revitalised the parish. Then the infamous bulletin you mentioned him worrying and Rigali declares him unfit to be a priest. I guess power often brings a certain hubris with it, but is not pride one of the deadly sins. Did you know his mother died during his last removal……
So much for that great priest – 12,000 images of pornography. Only thing “great” about him was that he had a GREAT addiction!
It’s amazing he found time to minister! That was just one year’s worth. However, if it was adult porn, then I will pray that he recovers from his addiction, finds more suitable work and that Archdiocese questions how it can attract those more fitted for the priesthood.
And all we can do is speculate about what this priest could have possibly done to deserve the treatment he has received from the Archdiocese. Many of us who post here know that there are many more secrets that the Archdiocese keeps from victims and those who want an end to the cover up.They would most likely argue that they are protecting this priest by not releasing more information about the incident from 2005. They have used this argument before when failing to release information in prior cases. Many times they claim they are protecting victims. I suggest that in this case as well as most others the only people they are protecting are themselves .It truly amazes me that the Hierarchy has left its priests dangling in the wind while it protects those very few(estimates range from two to six percent ] priests who actually have molested children.I don’t know what this priest may have done and frankly if it didn’t involve children, I really don’t care.But what we all can speculate is probably much worse than what he actually did.
Well the mystery is solved. ..12,000 images of porn..12,000!!!! I have no idea why the DA’s office would only now be alerting that 12 images were possibly of minors..but 12,000 porn images??!!!!
They probably had to hire a full time staffer to comb through all those images.
Asked this before in posts where such incidents came to the media’s attention, what is the archdiocese’s policy regarding the use, operation, security, etc. of computers within their facilities (specifically, priests in the rectories)? What type of scrutiny, oversight, review and accountability exists to monitor the use of computers, portable laptops and tablets? Do the rules and regulations cover both archdiocesan computer equipment as well as privately owned computers?
Oh, why do I go on about rules, regulations, accountability, etc. ? It’s the USA RCC……..and there are none.
Well – it seems that when you are placed on leave for 12,000 images of pornography, you are rewarded with a prime position at the mother church of the Archdiocese. Hope the cathedral has updated its Firewall protection at the rectory!
Reverend Louis J. Kolenkiewicz, from leave of absence, to Parochial Vicar, Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul, Philadelphia, with service to the Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters who reside at the Convent of Divine Love