3 Priests Ousted in Abuse Scandal

By Jason Nark
Philadelphia Daily News
April 8, 2013

THERE WILL be no more masses, no nervous couples to wed or babies to baptize, and no more white collars against a simple black suit for three Archdiocese of Philadelphia priests implicated in sexual-abuse scandals.

In a statement released Sunday, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput said the Rev. Joseph J. Gallagher, 78, and the Rev. Mark S. Gaspar, 43, will have no further public ministry in the Archdiocese "due to substantiated violations of The Standards of Ministerial Behaviors and Boundaries." The two were among the 26 Archdiocese priests placed on administrative leave in 2011 following a grand-jury report that prompted the Catholic Church here to look into old allegations that they molested children or acted inappropriately around them.

Monsignor Richard T. Powers, 77, a retired priest, was also deemed "not suitable for ministry," Chaput said, following a substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a minor approximately 40 years ago outside the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. His case is not releated to the grand-jury report.

The three will no longer be able to publicly present themselves as priests, Chaput said, and cannot administer sacraments or wear clerical garb. They can not appeal.

"After reviewing all the facts, as well as recommendations from competent external authorities, I made the decisions I feel are right and just," Chaput said in a statement about Gallagher and Gaspar.

The parishes where Gallagher, Powers and Gaspar last served or resided - Our Lady of Charity in Brookhaven, and Epiphany of Our Lord and St. Richard's in Philadelphia - were notified of the decisions, Chaput said. Gallagher retired in 2006. Chaput said seven priests remain on administrative leave and will be reviewed. Four have not been released by law enforcement.

Last year, seven of the priests on leave were deemed suitable for ministry while an additional eight priests were deemed unsuitable for ministry.



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