|Philly Archdiocese Removes Priest from Duty
March 23, 2009
HILADELPHIA (AP) — A priest in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been removed from duty after a church panel found evidence he sexually abused a minor more than 30 years ago.
The Archdiocesan Review Board found credible the abuse allegation against the Rev. Gerard J. Hoffman, who was a principal or faculty member at four Philadelphia-area schools over a 26-year period.
The board had been investigating Hoffman on a sex abuse allegation since July 2008. That case could not be substantiated, but the board found evidence to support a separate, unrelated allegation they received during their investigation.
Archdiocese officials say Hoffman has agreed to a supervised life of prayer at a suburban Philadelphia home for retired priests.
In July 2008 Cardinal Justin Rigali relieved Rev. Hoffman, parochial vicar at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Doylestown, Bucks County, of his assignment pending a formal investigation into an allegation that Father Hoffman sexually abused a minor more than 30 years ago. Since July 2008, Father Hoffman has not been permitted to exercise his ministry publicly, administer any of the Sacraments, wear clerical garb or present himself publicly as a priest.
The Archdiocesan Review Board could not substantiate that allegation.
During the course of the investigation, however, the Archdiocese received a second allegation that Father Hoffman had engaged in sexual misconduct more than thirty years ago with someone who was under 18 at the time. After further investigation, the Archdiocesan Review Board advised Cardinal Rigali that the second allegation was substantiated.
This misconduct was not related to the initial allegation.
Cardinal Rigali has accepted the Review Board's recommendation and, in accord with the Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People has now removed Father Hoffman from ministry by administrative act. The restrictions that were imposed upon Father Hoffman in July 2008 remain in place. Father Hoffman has agreed to accept a supervised life of prayer and penance.
An announcement updating the situation regarding Father Hoffman was made this past weekend at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, where he had been parochial vicar since 2002. An announcement was previously made at this parish in July 2008 when Father Hoffman was relieved of his assignment.
Father Hoffman was ordained in 1973. Since that time he has served in the following parishes/schools: St. Teresa of Avila, Valley Forge (1973-1976); Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul (1976); St. Basil the Great, Kimberton (1976-1977); St. Isaac Jogues, Wayne (1977-1988); King of Peace, Philadelphia (1988-1989); St. John the Evangelist, Philadelphia (1989-1990); Chaplain and faculty member, Saint John Neumann High School, Philadelphia (1988-1990); Faculty, Saint Pius X High School, Pottstown, (1976 to 1988); Principal, St. Pius X High School, Pottstown (1990-1993) and Principal, Roman Catholic High School, Philadelphia (1993-2002).
Any original material on these pages is copyright © BishopAccountability.org 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.