|Lawsuit Filed against Pastor of Saint Luke the Evangelist Parish
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
September 28, 2009
This past Thursday, September 24, 2009, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was served with a lawsuit filed in Delaware that alleges sexual abuse of a minor more than thirty years ago by Monsignor Michael Flood, Pastor of Saint Luke the Evangelist Parish in Glenside, Montgomery County. The lawsuit does not name the plaintiff. It describes him as a student at St. John Neumann High School in Philadelphia when Father Flood taught at the school in the late 1970's. The Archdiocese has never before received an allegation of any kind regarding Monsignor Flood. He denies the allegation.
Parishioners were made aware of this at Masses this past weekend, September 26-27, 2009. Monsignor Flood made the announcement to his parishioners about the lawsuit, asking parishioners to join him in praying for the individual who made this allegation. Monsignor Arthur Rodgers, Vicar for Montgomery County, representing Cardinal Rigali, also spoke to the parishioners.
Due to the upsetting nature of this announcement, staff members from the Archdiocesan Victim Assistance Program were present. The Director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection, Ms. Karen Becker, said, "We were there if anyone needed any assistance or felt the need to talk."
Ordinarily, when the Archdiocese receives an historical allegation against a member of the clergy, it is reported to the public authorities and an investigation is initiated by the Archdiocese in accord with the Bishops' Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People. In this case, a report was made to the public authorities but an Archdiocesan investigation is impossible at this time for several reasons. First, because the person who has made the allegation is not identified; and second, because this matter is a civil suit and is presently before the court in the State of Delaware. The Archdiocese is reaching out to offer assistance services to the individual.
In view of these circumstances, Monsignor Flood will continue in his position as pastor while the civil suit proceeds. He is already voluntarily refraining from unsupervised ministry to young people. Because this matter will go through the courts in Delaware, the Archdiocese does not know how long the process will take.
Monsignor Flood, age 71, was ordained in 1968. In addition to serving as pastor of St. Luke the Evangelist Parish, he has also served at the following parishes and schools: St. Patrick, Malvern; St. Rose of Lima, North Wales; Saint Michael, Chester; St. Madeline, Ridley Park; St. Malachy, Philadelphia; Incarnation of Our Lord, Philadelphia; St. Edmond, Philadelphia; St. Thomas Aquinas, Philadelphia; St. Madeleine Sophie, Philadelphia; Cardinal O'Hara High School; St. John Neumann High School and St. Maria Goretti High School.
Editor's Note: The Victim Assistance Office for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia can be reached at 1-888-800-8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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