Archdiocese Places 2 Retired Priests on Leave in Probe

By Patti Mengers
Daily Times
March 31, 2011

Two retired priests, one of whom formerly served in Delaware County, have been placed on administrative leave by officials in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia while they review complaints of inappropriate behavior by the priests with minors.

Archdiocesan officials announced the suspensions Wednesday. They declined to identify the retired priests who are both living in private residences, other than to say one retired in 2005 and is not serving in public ministry because of poor health and the other retired in 2006 and is assisting in parishes in another diocese where officials have been informed of his suspension.

But a source identified one of the suspended priests as the Rev. David Givey, 66, who was ordained in 1971 and served as editor of the Catholic Standard & Times, the archdiocesan newspaper, from June 1984 to July 1991.

From 1971 to 1973, he served at St. Katharine of Siena Parish and Archbishop Carroll High School, both in Radnor, and, from 1978 to 1984, at Archbishop Prendergast High School in the Drexel Hill section of Upper Darby. He was on staff at Our Lady of Peace Parish in the Milmont Park section of Ridley Township from 1996 to 2001.

Givey served at St. Agatha-St. James Parish in Philadelphia from 1994 to 1996. He was Newman chaplain at West Chester University from 1991 to 1994 and chaplain at the Sisters of Mercy Convent in Montgomery County from 1980 to 1984. He was a student priest at Temple University in Philadelphia from 1976 to 1978 and at Pontifical University, Angelicum in Rome from 1973 to 1976.

The priests suspended Wednesday are among 26 who have been placed on administrative leave by archdiocesan officials since they were named as persons of concern in a Philadelphia grand jury report released on Feb. 10. At least nine of them have ties with Delaware County, including pastors at St. Philomena Parish in Lansdowne and St. Katharine of Siena Parish and a parochial vicar at Our Lady of Charity parish in Brookhaven.

The archdiocese has hired former Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Gina Maisto Smith to review the cases along with a team that includes a pediatrician, forensic psychiatrist and a child advocate.

Archdiocesan spokeswoman Donna Farrell noted that the complaints range from sexual abuse of minors to "boundary issues."

She said archdiocesan officials have declined to name the suspended priests because no final determinations have been made about the credibility of the complaints.

"This is part of our continuing response to the grand jury report. It is an interim measure while a thorough investigation occurs," said Farrell.

The grand jury investigation the second conducted by the Philadelphia District Attorney on clerical sexual abuse resulted in the arrest of two priests, one former priest and a former Catholic school lay teacher for allegedly assaulting two boys.

Also arrested and charged with child endangerment was the Rev. Monsignor William Lynn, who as secretary of the clergy under former Philadelphia Archbishop Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua, was responsible for investigating clerical sexual abuse.


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