BREAKING NEWS: Father Armand Garcia, pastor of Saint Martin of Tours Parish in Philadelphia, was placed on administrative leave and is the subject of a criminal investigation.
According to a statement shared with the parish community, the Philadelphia police department notified the Archdiocese on Friday, March 16th that they’d received a report regarding Father Garcia’s alleged misconduct with minors. A search warrant for the rectory was issued that same day.
Kenneth Gavin, chief communications officer for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, stressed that no charges had been filed against Father Garcia as of Friday, March 23.
Father Garcia is no longer present at the parish (where do priests go while being investigated?) and his status is pending the outcome of the investigation, according to Gavin.
This comes on the heels of trouble for a former auxiliary bishop of Philadelphia…
Pack Up Your Troubles In Your Old Kit Bag
Law enforcement would not disclose what they were searching for when police raided Bishop Joseph Cistone’s residence in Saginaw, Michigan on March 22. Perhaps it was his “old kit bag?
Bishop Cistone left the Philadelphia archdiocese for his promotion to bishop in the wake of the 2005 Grand Jury report. Is your blood pressure medicine handy? This Philly.com article, from that year, highlights Cistone’s complicity in covering up clergy abuse.
Seems not much has changed.
Saginaw County prosecutors have said that Cistone and the Diocese haven’t followed through on promises to support investigators looking into sexual abuse allegations against Father Robert DeLand and others there.
15 thoughts on “St. Martin of Tours Pastor Under Investigation and Placed On Leave”
And so it continues…….Very discouraging. Consciousness has been raised, but the drive is so strong, and the protection still available, and the punishment rare, so why not.
Very disturbing. I guess eventually they will get their punishment by a higher judge. 🙏🏻
will it ever end? I feared it would continue, as a survivor of abuse by Frances Feret, I finally had to move away from Philadelphia,away from the toxic people, the constant reminders of the vile behavior of the archdiocese & away from the unsupportive family & friends & the reminders of abuse that seemed to be everywhere.
My family witnessed first hand the abuse of Frances Feret at St. Peters School between 90-94. I have watched people and their families around me break, even as adults after suffering not just the physical but also the mental abuse caused by this man. The after math of his actions has no limit causing continued mental health issues, addictions, etc. I remember sitting in class and hearing/seeing things not understanding what exactly was going on. I saw boys turn “bad” and start acting out, not understanding why. I still know many of the kids my brother and I went to school with, and I know and recognize the aftermath of what he did to people. My family fought back, made complaints about the mental abuse so it never went past that for us. I see how it even affects the children of the abused by the way their parent(s) are now. He ruined many lives, without blinking and eye, without understanding the consequences for his actions, without a care for not only the victims but what the families of the victims would also have to endure over the years trying to pick up the pieces. I hope he rots in hell for all the horrible things he has done to the people of this community. He will have his day.
Kris I’m sorry you and your family had to endure Feret and his sick mental abuse. You are exactly right, this leaves wounds that will never heal. What strikes me is that you Said years 1990 to 1994, so even 20 years after he abused me he was still at it and the archdiocese clearly had to be aware but did nothing.
Any updates on why Monsignor McCloone was relieved of his duties at Saint Joseph’s in Downingtown? A friend is a parishioner there and their only update was that it was not sexual scandal related.
Lottie, I am going to attempt to explain Msgr McLoone’s current status. It happens many times that we are contacted off of the site for assistance when things happen at a parish and we have spent the past few weeks in a back and forth with the Archdiocese attempting to bring some clarity for the people who have reached out to us.
Msgr McLoone’s departure was abrupt, with a short,vague statement issued at that time. The Archdiocese has stated that Msgr McLoone’s leave is not in any way having to do with any misconduct with minors. Msgr McLoone is not under any type of criminal investigation.
He is on a leave of absence however his name has recently been removed from the Archdiocese clergy list . Most times when a priest’s name is removed from the Archdiocesan clergy list it means that they have been placed on administrative leave by Archbishop Chaput and their faculties have been restricted. Ken Gavin, the director of communications for the Archdiocese, has stated to us that although Msgr McLoone’s name is no longer on the clergy list, he has not been placed on admin leave, and his faculties have not been restricted Rather,he is on a leave of absence and not active in ministry in a parish.
This is confusing because even retired priests who live in private residences, with no formal assignments, remain on the clergy list. This is the first time we have encountered a priest’s name being removed from the list because they are not currently active in ministry in a parish. Ken Gavin claims that each situation is different.
We had hoped to be able to bring some clarity, but that’s not the case. I think the Archdiocese needs to realize that parishioners should be treated as adults and not kept in the dark at parishes. If a priest has a physical illness,mental health issue or addiction, it should be announced that the priest is on a medical leave. If a priest has a family emergency it should be announced that the priest needs to take a family leave. If a priest is struggling with their vocation and needs some time away to decide his future ,just say it. All people have struggles in life and can relate that the same is true with priests. People do not need details,they just need simple clarity as to why someone is no longer at a parish.
Msgr McLoone’s situation is not related to clergy abuse, and that is what this site mostly deals with, but we are contacted many times by parishioners from all over the Archdiocese for assistance on various issues and are happy to help when we can. I would also add for anyone reading this , please do not bring the rumors around this situation to the comment section of the blog. We try very hard to give factual information and not deal in rumor or innuendo.
Susan and I can be reached through the contact section above on the site, and also at email@example.com
Almost ZERO News coverage of this in the Philly area! I wonder why? No mention on the AD’s website either! Transparency and Accountability at its Finest! All you get is a statement from Ken Gavin basically saying “No Charges” in other words nothing was done criminally but, we will suspend the priest and handle “Internally”. Internally meaning they have the time to Destroy any and all evidence that will give them a “Black Eye” and, deny the Victim/Survivor access to the courtroom. The Arch of Philadelphia has not learned a GOD DAMNED thing over the years in handling any of this. If Nothing Changes, NOTHING CHANGES and this is a Prime Example!
Chris the good news is the police were directly contacted first, the police are handling the investigation. If no charges are brought then it becomes an internal matter. But police first is key.
You are correct that there is no press release concerning this matter. We contacted the Archdiocese a few days after the announcement was made at the parish. Transparency remains elusive, but the news will always get out, one way or another. We (everyone who follows this site) are one of the ways, and have been for the past 7 years and we aren’t going away. With the help of people from all over the Archdiocese we will continue our efforts.
Kathy, I’m glad they contacted the police as it is a step in the right direction. My question is when did they contact the police? My guess is they contacted the authorities after they made sure their side of the street was Nice and Clean. I’m quite sure this is not an isolated incident and the A of P had to do something to contain it before it got out of control. Don’t get me wrong as I hope this is not the case but, something does not smell right when there is no PR release on the website and the 2 news outlets that ran the story did not do so until a week after the priest was removed.
Chris, the Archdiocese was not who contacted the police. Someone who felt that they had something to report about the priest either picked up the phone and called ChildLine or their local police. That was my point in saying it is good the police were contacted BEFORE the Archdiocese. Believe me, I am not giving the Archdiocese that credit!
An article appeared on Catholic Philly this afternoon, almost 2 weeks after the removal. The reason that it wasn’t in the local Philly press right away was because there was no press release…so C4C was that” press release” once the info came our way a few days after the announcement at the parish. Local press picked up the story from there.. Why no press release from the Archdiocese at the time? That will be a future post on C4C
Wonderful clarification on your part and I am very grateful. You are correct- sudden abrupt departures do raise many concerns. I am a former parishioner of St. Joseph’s and was very surprised by the news. Thanks again.
Spy Wednesday it’s called during Holy Week. The biblical story references Judas and his betrayal and Peter denying he knew Jesus of Nazareth. The story of Judas shows that even among those who were called, some went terribly wrong.
There has been much focus on the sins of Catholic priests who went terribly wrong and sexually abused the young and inflicted great harm. So much so that it makes the original ‘Spy Wednesday ‘ look like afternoon tea. Our hope that those atrocities and the orchestrated cover up would never happen again continues to be challenged.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, under the guidance of slick Chalie Chaput, has removed yet another priest because of misconduct involving a minor. Pastor Fr. Garcia of St. Martin of Tours in Philadelphia was abruptly escorted out of the rectory while a search warrant was executed. His name was removed from parish websites, the church bulletin and the clergy directory before any parishioner or news outlet had any information. The PhillyVoice and Phillydotcom were the only media to run a story a week later. The Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the Communications Office have yet to release any information other than the standard “we are cooperating.” I say BS! Your hiding again!
Failure to respond at a critical moments such as a these shows how deeply embedded and instinctive cover up is within the RCC. And how many of you have lamented deeply the scandal of silent pulpits, the silence of so many clergy and church workers in the face of a moral meltdown.
Recently, Cardinal Timothy Dolan remarked about sexual abuse survivors, ” You can’t get to Easter Sunday without going through Good Friday.” I challenge the Cardinal of New York to get honest, talk about the millions of dollars you hid while in Milwaukee, talk about the hush money you paid to predator priests, talk about why your influencing the N.Y. State Senate to block or strip the Child Victims Act in N.Y. Christ’s Good Friday was ONE DAY, victims and survivors have had a thousand Good Friday’s . MMcD
News story from MI : http://www.mlive.com/news/saginaw/index.ssf/2018/03/police_raiding_saginaw_diocese.html
about the raid on Bishop Cistone’s house
Looks Like The Latest Grand Jury is Winding Down! Let’s hope our Elected Officials do The Right Thing!