Priest Loses Post Pending Probe of Alleged Abuse

Philadelphia Inquirer [Pennsylvania]
January 26, 2006

A Catholic priest has been removed from his position at a Feasterville parish as authorities in Bucks and Chester Counties investigate an allegation of sexual abuse, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said.

The Rev. James J. Brennan, ordained in 1989, was relieved this week of his duties as an assistant to the pastor at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church, according to a news release issued Monday by Cardinal Justin Rigali.

The alleged abuse of a minor occurred about eight years ago but was only recently reported, Rigali said in the release. Donna M. Farrell, spokeswoman for the archdiocese, said yesterday she could not disclose the age or gender of the victim or say how long the alleged abuse occurred.

According to the release, Brennan left St. Jerome Parish in Philadelphia for the Feasterville parish eight years ago. But in a 2001 release on the archdiocesan Web site, Brennan is listed as newly assigned to the Feasterville parish from a Trappist abbey in South Carolina. Pending the outcome of the investigation, Brennan is prohibited from celebrating Mass publicly, administering sacraments, or wearing a clerical collar, Farrell said.


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