Parish Parents Not Considered 'Pertinent Parties' in Pastor's Child Abuse Alllegations
By Susan Matthews
November 11, 2013
Father John Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish earlier this week. He came to that decision of his own accord amid the stress and anxiety relative to an investigation into alleged misconduct on his part. Earlier this year, the Archdiocese received allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 40 years ago during his time as a seminarian. Father Paul has denied these allegations.
Consistent with Archdiocesan policy, all information concerning the allegations was immediately provided to law enforcement, which declined to press charges. The Archdiocese then began its own internal investigation in accordance with its policy. That process has not yet concluded.
The safety and well-being of our children and young people is of the utmost concern to the Archdiocese. Father Paul was allowed to remain at the parish during this time only after careful consideration of all available facts by the Archdiocesan Review Board, the Vicar for Clergy, the Director of Investigations, the Director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection and the Archbishop. Throughout this time, and as a matter of precaution, Father Paul’s ministry had been restricted in that he had no unsupervised contact with minors. Appropriate notification of his restrictions was made to pertinent parties and a monitoring and support plan was implemented and followed.
In the interest of transparency, the Archdiocese shared information surrounding Father Paul’s decision to resign at Masses at the parish this weekend. Counselors were made available to speak with anyone who wished to do so.
Archbishop Chaput has appointed Father John Babowitch as the new pastor.
A NOTE FROM FR. JOHN PAUL –
On November 6, I resigned as Pastor Of Our Lady of Calvary. For physical and spiritual health, I feel this is best for myself and the Parish.
Basically, I am tired and exhausted and I need renewal for myself. I have been Pastor for 13 years and I feel proud of our parish – the school, the renovations, the new ministries – much has been accomplished. Our Lady of Calvary Parish is in need of new leadership…with new vision and enthusiasm.
I thank my fellow priests, our secretaries and maintenance staff, our school administrators and teachers for their loyalty and support. Please pray for me as I will pray for you.
I have no immediate plans except for some rest and prayer.
If all works out, with diocesan approval, I will take a sabbatical for prayer, study and service as allowed. If possible, I would like to study spirituality at Bellarmine University in Louisville, KY (which houses the library of Thomas Merton and is near Getsamane Abbey), make a retreat in Assisi,Italy and work with Fr. Mike in Malawi, Africa.
Sincerely yours in Christ, Rev. John Paul
From the School Web site:
1- This weekend Father Dunleavy, Regional Dean, will inform the parish that Father John Paul has resigned as Pastor and no longer resides at OLC.
2- Earlier this year, the Archdiocese was notified of allegations of sexual abuse of minors against Father Paul dating back 45 years.
3- Consistent with its policies concerning such allegations, the Archdiocese immediately provided this information to law enforcement authorities.
4- After investigating the matter, law enforcement authorities DECLINED TO PRESS CHARGES AGAINST FATHER PAUL.
5- These allegations involved no member of OLC either 45 years ago or since.
6- As a result of the extreme emotional duress experienced by Father Paul while the allegations were being investigated, and out of heartfelt concern for the families of OLC, Father Paul voluntarily resigned as Pastor so that the best interest of the parish could be served.
7- DURING THE THIRTEEN YEARS IN WHICH FATHER PAUL WAS PASTOR, OLC WAS, AND CONTINUES TO BE A SAFE AND WELCOMING ENVIRONMENT.
8- The Archdiocese has appointed Father John Babowitch as our new Pastor and he will be arriving on December 2nd.
9- As always, if you have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact us at any time.