Archdiocese Takes Action against Priest in Abuse Case

By Sam Wood
Philadelphia Inquirer
March 23, 2009 takes_action_against_priest_in_abuse_case.html

A priest from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has been removed from the ministry by Cardinal Justin Rigali following an investigation by church officials that found he sexually abused a minor more than 30 years ago.

Gerard J. Hoffman - former of both Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia and St. Pius X in Pottstown - has agreed to accept a supervised life of prayer and penance at a home for retired priests in Delaware County, said Donna Farrell, a diocese spokeswoman.

Rev. Gerard J. Hoffman as he looked nearly 30 years ago. The former principal of Roman Catholic High School has been removed from priestly duties.

Since he was first accused of abuse in July 2008, the 64-year-old Hoffman has been prohibited from wearing clerical garb, presenting himself as a priest, or administering any of the Sacraments.

A church probe could not substantiate an initial set of charges, but the investigation uncovered unrelated allegations of sexual misconduct with a minor. The inquest by the Archdiocesan Review Board substantiated those charges.

Rigali ordered the restrictions on Hoffman to remain in place.

Since his ordination in 1973, Hoffman has served at numerous churches and schools in throughout the region. Most recently he was parochial vicar of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish in Doylestown.

In addition, he served at St. Teresa of Avila, Valley Forge (1973-1976); Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul (1976); St. Basil the Great, Kimberton (1976-1977); St. Isaac Jogues, Wayne (1977-1988); King of Peace, Philadelphia (1988-1989); St. John the Evangelist, Philadelphia (1989-1990); Chaplain and faculty member, Saint John Neumann High School, Philadelphia (1988-1990); Faculty, Saint Pius X High School, Pottstown, (1976 to 1988); Principal, St. Pius X High School, Pottstown (1990-1993) and Principal, Roman Catholic High School, Philadelphia (1993-2002).

Contact staff writer Sam Wood at 215-854-2796 or at


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