Archdiocese of Philadelphia Announces Priest Found Unsuitable for Ministry

Archdiocese of Philadelphia
September 15, 2019

In the fall of 2018, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received an allegation that Reverend Christopher D. Lucas sexually abused a minor over 45 years ago. It was the first allegation of this kind lodged against Father Lucas. Father Lucas had neither been ordained nor had he yet entered a program of priestly formation when the abuse is reported to have occurred. In addition, the activity in question is alleged to have occurred when Father Lucas was himself a minor.

The allegation was referred to law enforcement on the same day it was received. The Archdiocese cooperated with authorities in the course of their work. No criminal charges were filed.

The required canonical (church) investigation of Father Lucas was launched after law enforcement declined to press charges. The Archdiocesan Office of Investigations (AOI) undertook that canonical process.

The AOI is responsible for conducting internal and canonical investigations following the conclusion of work performed by civil authorities. Currently, the AOI is led by a former First Assistant District Attorney for the City and County of Philadelphia. The AOI also performs investigations in matters that center on alleged activity that is not illegal in nature, but that may violate The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries established by the Archdiocese.

The Director of the AOI oversees the work noted above and is the liaison between the Archbishop and the Archdiocesan Professional Responsibilities Review Board (APRRB). The APRRB was established in 2002 and functions as a confidential advisory body to the Archbishop. It is composed of 12 men and women, both Catholic and non-Catholic, who possess extensive professional experience in investigation, prosecution, child abuse prevention, victim services, and the treatment of sexual offenders. Information regarding the credentials of the APRRB’s members is available at


The APRRB receives the results of canonical investigations conducted by the Office of Investigations. The APRRB then evaluates all facts and makes a recommendation to the Archbishop regarding an individual cleric’s suitability for ministry so that he can make a decision in the matter.

This board recently recommended to the Archbishop that Father Lucas was unsuitable for ministry based on a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor. Archbishop Chaput accepted that recommendation and determined that Father Lucas is unsuitable for ministry.

The information above was shared with parishioners at Saint John the Baptist Parish in Manayunk and John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, Father Lucas’ most recent assignments.

Biographical Information Regarding Reverend Christopher D. Lucas

Father Lucas is 63 years old. He was ordained in 1985 as member of the Conventual Franciscan Friars (O.F.M. Conv.), a religious order. In 2002 he was incardinated as a diocesan priest for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

He has served at the following parishes, schools, and offices in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia: Saint Christopher Parish, Philadelphia (1997-2000); Our Lady of Consolation Parish, Philadelphia (2000-2002); Saint Martha Parish, Philadelphia (2002-2004); Saint Hubert Catholic High School for Girls, Philadelphia (2000-2004); Bishop Shanahan High School, Downingtown (2004-2005); Saints Philip and James Parish, Exton (2004-2005); Old Saint Mary’s Parish, Philadelphia (2005-2006); Saint John the Baptist Parish, Philadelphia (2006-2010); John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School (2005-2010); Immaculate Conception Parish, Levittown (2010-2013); Conwell-Egan Catholic High School, Fairless Hills (2010-2013); Saint John the Baptist Parish, Philadelphia (2013-2019); John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School (2013-2019); placed on administrative leave, priestly faculties restricted, and found unsuitable for ministry (2019).

To Make a Report

We recognize that today’s public notice may be painful to victims of sexual violence and exploitation. If you need support or assistance, victim services are available to you through the Victim Assistance Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780 or

If you would like to report an allegation of sexual abuse or any other criminal activity perpetrated by a priest, deacon, employee, or volunteer of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, contact your local law enforcement agency and/or the Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.

If you would like to report a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, contact the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.


Editor’s Note: To learn more about ongoing efforts within the Archdiocese of Philadelphia over the past 15 years to provide safe environments for the children and young people entrusted to its care and to assist survivors of sexual abuse on their path to healing, please visit


Contact: Kenneth A. Gavin

Chief Communications Officer

215-587-3747 (office)








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