From Philadelphia: five priests removed from ministry


Five Catholic priests accused of child sex abuse will not be able to return to their jobs.

They are among 26 priests under investigation for abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese.

Archbishop Charles Chaput announced today that decisions on eight priests had been made, one priest has died since the investigation began, three priest were found “suitable for ministry” and that decisions on 17 more cases are in different stages of investigation but that more decisions would be announced in the coming weeks.

The five priests found “unsuitable” to return to ministry are:

  • Reverend Robert Povish
  • Reverend John reardon
  • Reverend Thomas Rooney
  • Reverend Monsignor Francis Feret
  • Reverend George Cadwallader

The three priests found “suitable” to return to ministry are:

  • Reverend Philip Barr
  • Reverend Michael Chapman
  • Monsignor Michael Flood

Before today’s announcement, Chaput emphasized that child sex abuse is a “broad, societal problem” and apologized to the victims on behalf of the Catholic church. He said no lesson is more important than the understanding that the people who suffer most are the victims.

“Over the years, as part of my ministry as a Bishop, I have met personally with many victims and this humbling experience has taught me that no words can sufficiently describe the hurt a victim feels.”

SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, sent out a statement saying they’re shocked that more than a year after a grand jury raised concerns about 37 accused priests, only eight of the cases are resolved.

Chaput said the five priests who will not be retained do have the right to appeal their decisions to The Vatican.

Of the remaining 17 cases, Chaput said:

  • 6 have not been cleared by law enforcement so the church hasn’t been able to do their own investigation.
  • 2 are under internal investigation.
  • 9 are complete and awaiting review by either the Archbishop or Archdiocesan review board. Announcements on these nine are expected in the coming weeks.

Read more.

And you can read Archbishop Chaput’s letter on this right here.

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