ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING REVEREND JAMES J. COLLINS AND REVEREND JOHN P. PAUL
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Philadelphia
February 23, 2014
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has found Reverend James J. Collins not suitable for ministry following a substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a 17-year old minor over 40 years ago.
Archbishop Chaput has also found Reverend John P. Paul unsuitable for ministry following a substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a 17-year old minor over 40 years ago.
Today's announcements are neither connected to one another nor to the cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 Grand Jury Report.
Following Archbishop Chaput's determinations of their unsuitability for ministry, neither Father Collins nor Father Paul will have public ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. They have the right to appeal the decions to the Holy See. If they do not appeal, or if an appeal is unsuccessful, they could be laicized (removed from the clerical state) or live a life of prayer and penance.
Announcements were previously made at the parishes where these priests last served when they were placed on administrative leave. Follow up announcements were made at those parishes this weekend regarding the final decisions in their cases. Counselors were made available for parishioners.
Consistent with the Archdiocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People, promulgated in October of 2012, the allegations against Fathers Collins and Paul first were reported to the appropriate local district attorney's office so that law enforcement could investigate these matters and review them for possible criminal charges. Upon declination of criminal charges by the district attorney, the Archdiocesan Office of Investigations began its investigation in each case. The results of this process were submitted to the Archdiocesan Professional Responsibility Review Board (APRRB). The APRRB is comprised of twelve men and women, both Catholic and non-Catholic, with extensive professional backgrounds in the investigation and treatment of child sexual abuse. It functions as a confidential advisory committee to the Archbishop, which assesses allegations of sexual abuse as well as allegations of violations of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries. This body provided a recommendation regarding suitability for ministry to the Archbishop, who made the final decisions.