Philadelphia Priest Denies Allegations

By Donna Conaway
June 23, 2009

Father Gerald Dunne, an Oblate of Saint Frances de Sales, has been named in a lawsuit filed in Delaware alleging sexual abuse of a minor while at Salesianium High School.

The plaintiff alleges Fr. Dunne sexually abused him approximately thirty years ago. Father Dunne has denied the allegation.

According to a June 22 press release from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Father Dunne, who also was a member of Father Judge High School's faculty from 1994 to present, had completed the screening procedures set in place by the Archdiocese, and had cleared all the appropriate police and child abuse background checks. In addition, the Oblates of St. Frances de Sales had presented a positive recommendation of Fr. Dunne and cleared him through their accredited screening process.

Fr. Dunne has no previous allegations against him.

Following Archdiocesan policy, Father Dunne has been placed on an administrative leave pending an investigation. Cardinal Rigali has withdrawn Fr. Dunne's faculties to exercise priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. This action prohibits Fr. Dunne from celebrating Mass at any church or parish, and from performing any sacraments or sacramental rites until the investigation is completed.

Should the investigation clear Fr. Dunne of any wrongdoing, he can be restored to full ministry and again be considered a priest in good standing.


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