Archdiocese Deems 2 Philadelphia Priests 'Unsuitable'

CBS Philly
May 20, 2012

[with video]

PHILADELPHIA (CBS/AP) The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says two priests have been found unsuitable for ministry following allegations of sexual abuse of minors.

A statement from the archdiocese Sunday says the priests, 73-year-old Monsignor George J. Mazzotta and 77-year-old Monsignor Hugh P. Cambell, "have agreed to accept a supervised life of prayer and penance."

Monsignor Mazzotta was found unsuitable for ministry following a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Since May 2010 when the archdiocese received the allegation and reported it to law enforcement, Monsignor Mazzotta has not been permitted to exercise his public ministry, wear clerical garb, or present himself publicly as a priest.

An announcement regarding Monsignor Mazzotta was made this weekend at Stella Maris Parish in Philadelphia and Saint Madeline Parish in Ridley Park, his two most recent assignments.

"They're criminals, like any other criminals," said Jerry Tempesta.

"It's horrible, I really do and I think it goes way back," said Carol Tempesta.

The Tempestas are parishioners at Stella Maris.

"I remember when he left, we were all in shock," said Carol.

Monsignor Cambell, a retired priest of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, was also found not suitable for ministry following self-reported sexual abuse of a minor. Following the report in December 2011, Monsignor Cambell was placed on administrative leave and he too was restricted from presenting himself as a priest publicly.

An announcement was made at Saint Maximilian Kolbe Parish in West Chester, his most recent assignment prior to retirement.

David Clohessy, the director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, says he's upset Cambell's admission wasn't revealed immediately.

"We hope that Chaput personally visits each and every parish where these men worked and that he emphatically begs victims and witnesses and whistle blowers to speak up so that these two men might be criminally prosecuted," said Clohessy.

Earlier this month, the archdiocese said five priests would be permanently barred from ministry after substantiated allegations of sexual abuse or inappropriate conduct. Officials said three other suspended priests would be allowed to return to ministry.

The announcements regarding Monsignor Mazzotta and Monsignor Cambell are not connected to those cases.


Any original material on these pages is copyright 2004. Reproduce freely with attribution.