Much of today was spent sifting through the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s press release regarding three priests removed from ministry. The following are some initial thoughts and findings. We will update as more information becomes available.
Father Raymond Smart
The press release claimed that Father Raymond Smart “has not served in any school or parish since 1995 due to poor health. He has been retired and living in a private residence since 2002.” While this may paint a picture of a priest who has long been away from ministry and living at the local Korman Suites, the truth tells another story.
- We confirmed that Father Smart was acting as a weekend assistant priest at St Teresa of Calcutta parish as recently as 2016;
- The parish bulletin of St. Philip Neri, Pennsburg, has Father Smart listed as Retired; resident, as recently as 2015. In 2014, he is listed as being the celebrant of the Monday, Tuesday, and Saturday daily Masses. In December 2015, he was hearing Christmas confessions;
- From the press release we know that Father Smart was investigated three times since 2011. However, the two prior investigations and resolutions were never announced by the Archdiocese. Father Smart had his faculties restricted in 2017 and this was not even shared with the priests of the Archdiocese. The announcement of the final removal included the information of the prior investigations.
His case raises many important questions:
- Is a parish rectory considered a private residence?
- Is being listed as a weekend assistant priest in a parish bulletin not considered serving at a parish?
- If the Archdiocese wants to protect children, then why not release the information of every parish where he has resided or assisted? Transparency or technicality, which one will it be?
- Does the Archdiocese realize that the internet exists and everyone can put the pieces of together?
Father John Meyers
Father Meyers may have had the quickest resolution in Archdiocesan history if the timeline is to be believed. The press release states, “in late 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia placed Reverend John F. Meyers on administrative leave following receipt of an allegation that he had sexually abused a minor in the 1980’s.” He was placed on administrative leave in late 2018.
However, the press release fails to state when the allegation was actually received. If the allegation was truly first known in late 2018 and the case is resolved and already in the hands of the Vatican, that’s quicker than the case of Msgr. Hugh Campbell, who admitted committing abuse. His case still took another five months for resolution. Maybe the Archdiocese has implemented a fast pass – like the Disney World ride fast pass? How much time elapsed between receiving the allegation and removing Father Meyers from the Malvern Retreat House?
Father Meyers was the rector at the Malvern Retreat House, where many Archdiocesan students attend the Kairos retreats. The students spend a few nights at the retreat house without their mobile phones or outside contact. High school staff helps supervise, but discovering the rector of the retreat house was a predator sent chills down the spines of parents and kids.
We are looking to John Delaney, Delegate of Investigations, to provide an honest answer to these kids.
Was Father Meyers left at the Malvern Retreat for even one day after the Archdiocese received the allegation?
We have not had a chance to review Msgr. Logrip’s case. Logrip was placed on administrative leave for the second time after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. That’s next.
If you would like to share information in regard to the recently removed priests, please message us through the contact link or email Kathy: firstname.lastname@example.org.