Former Priest at St. Alphonsus Church in Maple Glen Placed on Administrative Leave Following Allegations of Sexual Misconduct
By Eric Devlin
The Montgomery News
January 11, 2014
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia recently announced a former priest, who at one time served at St. Alphonsus Church in Maple Glen, has been put on administrative leave, following allegations of sexual misconduct with minors.
According to a Dec. 15 press release from the archdiocese, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap, placed Father John Paul on administrative leave after new allegations that he sexually abused minors more than 30 years ago. Originally, the allegations stated that Paul abused minors during his time in the seminary more than 40 years ago.
The Archdiocese said Jan. 7 it had no further information on where the latest allegations took place.
Paul, 67, who served at St. Alphonsus from 1972 to 1974, “is not permitted to exercise public ministry, administer any of the sacraments, wear clerical attire or present himself publicly as a priest pending the outcome of the investigation. This action is not connected to the resolutions of cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February, 2011 Grand Jury Report,” the release states.
“Consistent with the Archdiocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People promulgated in October 2012, these allegations were reported to law enforcement, which, after a lengthy investigation, declined to press charges,” the release states.
“The allegations were also reviewed by the Archdiocesan Office of Investigations, the Office for Child and Youth Protection and the Office of the Vicar for Clergy. Those offices made a joint recommendation, approved by the Archdiocesan Professional Responsibility Review Board, and presented to the Archbishop, who decided to restrict Father Paul’s ministry so that he would have no unsupervised contact with minors pending the outcome of the internal Archdiocesan investigation that was in progress. Notification of his restrictions was made to administrators at the parish and the parish school. A monitoring and support plan was implemented and followed throughout that time.”
Paul, who was ordained in 1972, resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish, Philadelphia, Nov. 6, where he had been serving since 2000, according to the Archdiocese.
“He came to that decision of his own accord,” the release stated, “during the course of the Archdiocesan investigation regarding this alleged abuse.”
Following the resignation, Paul moved to a private residence and was not assigned to a new parish or active ministry, according to a press release.
“Subsequently, the Archdiocese received multiple, new allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 30 years ago. These allegations were reported to the appropriate district attorney’s office. Father Paul will remain on administrative leave pending any possible action by law enforcement and a full internal investigation. In keeping with standing Archdiocesan policy, that internal investigation will not proceed until after law enforcement has concluded its process.” Continued...