Priest about to Return to Parish Accused of Sexual Abuse of Minors
September 17, 2012
A Philadelphia area priest who had recently been OK’d to return to ministry is being kept on administrative leave after new allegations emerged against him.
According to a press release from the Philadelphia Archdiocese, Rev. Michael Chapman, who had been previously accused of violation of the church’s standards, had been cleared in May and was expected to return to ministry when the archdiocese was made aware of allegations that Chapman sexually abused minors about 30 years ago. Chapman was immediately placed on administrative leave until the allegations were investigated. Chapman was serving as pastor at Ascension of Our Lord Parish in Philadelphia when the initial claims were made against him ov violating the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries in March of 2011.
“Since the allegations were received, Father Chapman has not been exercising his ministry publicly or residing at an Archdiocesan parish. After an initial investigation by the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations, the Archbishop placed Father Chapman on administrative leave,” read a press release from the archdiocese that also said the claims were reported to law enforcement.
Chapman, 56, was ordained in 1982 and served at the following parishes, schools and offices in the archdiocese: Saint Bonaventure, Philadelphia (1982-1986); Little Flower High School(1983-1985); Saint Agnes, West Chester (1986-1990); Saint Henry, Philadelphia (1990-1991); Priest Vocation Coordinator for the Hispanic Apostolate (1990-1994); Hispanic MinistryCoordinator for Montgomery County (1991-1992); Saint Veronica, Philadelphia (1994-1999); Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul (1999-2001); and Ascension of Our Lord, Philadelphia (2001-2011).