Five priests have been removed and one more has been asked to go on leave as a result of the investigation related to their involvement in a case of child sex abuse. It was announced on Sunday by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The priests who were found "unsuitable to return to the church" were Reverend Peter J Talocci, Reverend Stephen B Perzan, Reverend Joseph M Glatts, Reverend Mark E Fernandes and Reverend Michael A Chapman. The decision came after the misconduct and child sex abuse investigation had taken place in reference to a grand jury report in Feb 2011. Rev Glatts and Rev Fernandes were not accused of sexual misconduct. However, they were accused of the violation of church standards.
According to NBC Philadelphia, Reverend John P. Paul from one of the North Philadelphia churches has been sent on administrative leave as there is an investigation pending on him being accused of sexually abusing minors, which occurred over 40 years back. Rev Paul submitted his resignation in Nov after a police investigation had begun on the allegations against him abusing minors during his days as a seminarian. On the other hand, it was learned by the archdiocese that there were additional allegations against Rev Paul even after he resigned.
Rev Chapman went clean over a year back after he had been accused of similar charges. The archdiocese's review board considered him suitable for ministry. However, he was again convicted due to substantiated and subsequent allegations, archdiocese spokesman Ken Gavin informs.
The five priests who were removed from their designations were strongly accused following the Philadelphia grand jury report in 2011, Reuters reports. The report ended up jailing the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic Church official, Monsignor William Lynn. He was convicted of sexually abusing children.
Pope Francis became articulate earlier in Dec about his agreement on appointing a "commission for the protection of minors" in order to address the alleged as well as the proven cases of sexual abuse against Catholic priests.
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