Church Mum on Latest Priest Suspensions

My Fox Philly
April 1, 2011

[with video]

PHILADELPHIA - There are lots of lingering questions after the Archdiocese of Philadelphia suspended two more priests as part of an ongoing look at abuse and cover-ups, then refused to name them or say where they are.

In the past Gina Smith who is investigating for the Archdiocese and recommended these suspensions has said that priests should get due process, that the investigations are ongoing and no charges have been filed, and that the Archdiocese will notify the affected parishes and the District Attorney's Office.

One of the priests has been identified by Fox 29 as Rev. David Givey.

A spokesman for the Diocese of Camden, where Givey is residing, refused to confirm his identity but said if a priest is suspended in Philadelphia, he's also suspended in the Camden Diocese.

Givey is believed to live in Ocean City and helps out saying Mass at the shore.

The D.A.'s office in Philadelphia would not comment on whether they have the names or if investigators were given specific on why the priests were suspended.

The victims' advocacy group SNAP stated just this week that the church needs to let everyone know where suspended priests are.

"Our concern is that even now Cardinal Rigali has not revealed where the removed predators are residing. And, had these men been guilty in a court, their names would be on the sex offender registries. But they're not. But they don't pose any less risk than any other sexual predator," said SNAP's Barbara Blaine.

"We're calling on Cardinal Rigali, his colleagues and his successors to never again send an accused, child-molesting cleric into ministry where more children can be abused," she said.

Fox 29's calls asking the Archdiocese to explain why it won't identify the priests or say where they are were not returned.

So far, the Diocese of Camden, under Bishop Joseph Galante, has not made a public statement about the suspended priests there. A spokesman would not say how or when parishioners at the Ocean City church, where one of the suspended priests helps out, will be told.

The identity of the second priest has not yet been released, Fox 29's Dave Schratwieser reported.

Catholics leaving noon mass Thursday at the Basilica of Sts. Peter & Paul said the church should identify the priests and say where they are if there are credible accusations. They also said the priests are entitled to due process, but church leaders should protect children first.

Several also said their faith in the church may be shaken by this ongoing scandal but not their faith in God.

The trial of three priests and a monsignor charged by the grand jury is probably still a year off. In the meantime, the Archdiocese has said it will continue forwarding information to the D.A.'s office, and the D.A. has said he will continue to investigate, although there is no known grand jury sitting at this time.


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