Priest Resigns Amid Abuse Investigation
By William Bender
Philadelphia Daily News
November 11, 2013
IN YESTERDAY’S church bulletin, the Rev. John Paul wrote that he has resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish “for physical and spiritual health” and because the parish needs “new leadership with new vision and enthusiasm.”
“Basically, I am tired and exhausted, and I need renewal for myself,” Paul wrote.
A statement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was more illuminating, disclosing that Paul voluntarily resigned after 13 years at the helm of the Northeast Philly parish “amid the stress and anxiety relative to an investigation into alleged misconduct on his part.”
The Archdiocese is looking into allegations that Paul sexually abused minors more than 40 years ago as a seminarian. The information has been turned over to law enforcement — which declined to press charges — and Paul has had no unsupervised contact with minors since the allegations surfaced, said Archdiocese spokesman Kenneth Gavin.
A memo from Sister Mildred Chesnavage, Our Lady of Calvary School’s principal, and vice principal Jeanne Costello said the school has been a “safe and welcoming environment” under Paul’s leadership.
Paul said in his note that he would like to study spirituality in Kentucky, take a retreat trip to Italy and work in Malawi, Africa.