Former Bucks County Priests Removed from Ministry
By Kimberly Flanders
December 16, 2013
Two priests with ties to Bucks County are among five stripped of their ministry following an investigation of child abuse and a 2011 grand jury investigation, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday.
Another was put on administrative leave, after several allegations of sex abuse of a minor more than 30 years ago, the archdiocese said.
The Rev. Mark E. Fernandes, previously of St. Agnes Parish in Sellersville, and the Rev. Peter J. Talocci, previously of Saint Frances Cabrini in Fairless Hills and Saint Thomas Aquinas in Bristol Township, are not suitable for ministry, the archdiocese stated in a press release.
Talocci, 54, had been accused of sexually abusing a minor, but a diocese review board said it could not substantiate the allegations. It did, however, find that he violated the “standards of ministerial behavior and boundaries.”
Fernandes, 40, was accused of violating church standards, and the diocese said the allegation was substantiated although no details were released.
The Rev. John P. Paul, most recently pastor at Our Lady of Calvary in Northeast Philadelphia, was placed on leave due to allegations of sexual abuse. Several accusations were made that he sexually abused minors more than 30 years ago while a seminarian, according to a separate press release. The case against Paul, 67, was not connected to the grand jury investigation, the diocese said. He also was on the faculty at Kennedy-Kenrick High School in Norristown (1993-1997) and Archbishop Wood High School in Warminster (1997-2000) and served at St. Andrew in Newtown (1997-2000).
Also found unsuitable for ministry for violating the standards were the Rev. Michael A. Chapman, 58, the Rev. Stephen B. Perzan, 68, and the Rev. Joseph M. Glatts, 75.
An allegation of sexual abuse of a minor was substantiated against Chapman, 58, according to the archdiocese website.
Perzan, 68, was also accused of sexually abusing a minor, but the review board could not substantiate the allegation, according to the website.
The ministerial boundaries are “intended to provide clear standards of behavior and, in particular, a blueprint for the boundaries of appropriate behavior in all interactions with children and young people.”
Two other priests, the Rev. Zachary W. Navit and the Rev. Francis J. Schlett, were cleared to return to their positions after the review board was unable to substantiate allegations against them.
Navit, 46, previously served at Nativity of Our Lord and Saint John Bosco, both in Warminster, and Our Lady of Guadalupe in Buckingham.
Announcements this weekend were made at the parishes where these priests last served, and counselors were made available for parishioners. The congregations were told in March 2011 that the priests had been put on administrative leave.
The priests have the right to appeal the decisions to the Holy See.