One of the most common search terms that leads people to this site is the name of the laicized priest Father John Paul. It seems that many in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia still have questions concerning the John Paul case… we do, too.
Many C4C followers may remember the Paul case. He was allowed to stay in ministry as pastor of a parish for a year while being investigated for historical allegations of child sex abuse. The investigation was kept secret from the parishioners.
John Paul garnered, quite possibly, the most bizarre article ever written on Catholic Philly, where his retirement and travel plans were detailed along with the news that he was being investigated for child sexual abuse.
This article written only after he surprised the Archdiocese with a letter to his parish that he was resigning for “physical and spiritual” health reasons. He pulled a fast one on the Archdiocese with the letter and they were none too pleased. However, he still seemed to receive special treatment and was only placed on administrative leave after multiple individuals came forward to file reports of past abuse against him.
We announced John Paul’s administrative leave on C4C in November of 2013. The Archdiocese waited another month before making the announcement.
Paul was found unsuitable for ministry in February 2014 and was voluntarily laicized in June 2015. His name was finally added to the Archdiocese website section of “clergy laicized for credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor,” in late 2018 – three full years later.
There are many questions that remain about the John Paul case, ranging from what some feel is an inaccurate assignment record, to also hearing that not all cases filed against him may have made it to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia Review Board. The Archdiocese has not responded to our most recent questions about the John Paul case.
Please feel free to reach out if you have your own questions, would like to be in contact with others who reported abuse allegations by John Paul to the Archdiocese, or have any information you would like to share from his 40 years in ministry. Together maybe we can all get the answers we are searching for in the curious case of John Paul.
You can reach us through the contact page.