Moral Low Ground


5 Philadelphia Priests Removed Over Alleged Child Sex Abuse

December 19, 2013 by Brett Wilkins in Crime & Punishment, Religion with 0 Comments

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia has removed three suspected pedophile priests, two priests accused of misconduct, and placed another on leave as an investigation into clergy child sex abuse moves forward.

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports the five priests are under archdiocesan investigation for allegedly sexually abusing children or acting inappropriately toward them. The removal of Rev. Michael A. Chapman, Rev. Mark E. Fernandes, Rev. Joseph M. Glatts, Rev. Stephen B. Perzan and Rev. Peter J. Talocci was announced on Sunday.

Fernandes and Glatts are not accused of sexually abusing minors, but rather of violating church standards.

The five ousted priests were among more than three dozen accused in a February 2011 grand jury report of failing to stop or report child sex abuse by more than 50 of their colleagues.

A day later, NBC Philadelphia reported the archdiocese had placed another priest on administrative leave due to accusations he sexually abused children more than 40 years ago. Rev. John P. Paul, 67, formerly worked at Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Northeastern Philadelphia. He resigned last month in the wake of a police investigation. His suspension is not related to the grand jury investigation.

The allegations against the five removed priests stem from the 2011 grand jury investigation that ended with the imprisonment of Monsignor William Lynn, who is the highest-ranking American Catholic official convicted in the clergy sex abuse crisis.

Two other priests, Rev. Zachary W. Navit and Rev. Francis J. Schlett, were cleared to return to their jobs after the review board was unable to find sufficient evidence of their guilt.

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