Teacher in Porn Case Once Served As Priest in Bucks

By David Levinsky
Bucks County Courier Times
April 25, 2008

LUMBERTON, N.J. — A teacher in the township middle school who was charged with possession and distribution of child pornography was formerly a Roman Catholic priest and teacher within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

Joseph E. Macanga, 54, was a priest in the archdiocese for nearly 10 years, said Donna Farrell, spokeswoman for the archdiocese.

Macanga was ordained in May 1986 after graduating from St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, Pa. During his tenure, he served as priest and teacher at the following locations in Southeastern Pennsylvania: St. Andrew Parish in Newtown; Cardinal Dougherty High School in Philadelphia; St. Hilary of Poitiers in Rydal; St. Cecilia parish in Coatesville; St. Alice parish in Upper Darby, and SS. Simon & Jude parish in West Chester.

Farrell said Macanga left the active ministry on his own accord in February 1995 and was formally separated from the church in September 1997.

Farrell said the archdiocese learned of the child pornography charges from news reports yesterday. She said a review of Macanga's files from the seminary and his service in the archdiocese revealed "nothing of this nature."

"He has not been a priest for over 10 years," she said.

A secretary at St. Cecelia recalled Macanga serving as a parish priest about 15 years ago.

"Nothing really stood out about him. He lived here at the rectory and did what he had to do," the secretary said. "Quite honestly, I couldn't say anything bad about him. I was totally surprised when I heard about him on the news."

Macanga, a resident of Torrington Court in Lumberton, was hired as a 6th-grade language arts teacher at Lumberton Middle School in 1998, according to a school district spokeswoman. He was named the middle school's educator of the year in 2003 and coached intramural girls soccer and basketball.

He was arrested early Wednesday by the FBI on charges of possession and distribution of child pornography following an eight-month investigation, an FBI spokesman said.

Federal court papers, unsealed after his arrest, indicated that an FBI investigation uncovered that Macanga had more than 300 images of child pornography on his computer as well as evidence he had distributed images in online chat rooms frequented by pedophiles.

A federal judge on Wednesday ordered that Macanga be confined to his home via electronic monitoring, according to the FBI.

The Lumberton Board of Education met Thursday night and was expected to take formal action to suspend him.

David Levinsky can be reached at


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