Priest from Northeast Philadelphia church resigns

A priest from Our Lady of Calvary in Northeast Philadelphia has resigned after serving 13 years as head of the congregation.
November 10, 2013 3:27:39 PM PST
A priest from Our Lady of Calvary in Northeast Philadelphia has resigned after serving 13 years as head of the congregation.

Earlier this year, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia was notified of alleged sexual abuse of minors by father John Paul. The allegations dated back 45 years.

After an investigation, law enforcement officials decided not to press charges against the Catholic priest.

In a letter to the congregation, Church officials added that the allegations did not involve any members of Our Lady of Calvary.

The Archdiocese says Father Paul has denied the allegations and that he decided to resign on his own.

Read the full statement from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia below:

Father John Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish earlier this week. He came to that decision of his own accord amid the stress and anxiety relative to an investigation into alleged misconduct on his part. Earlier this year, the Archdiocese received allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 40 years ago during his time as a seminarian. Father Paul has denied these allegations.

Consistent with Archdiocesan policy, all information concerning the allegations was immediately provided to law enforcement, which declined to press charges. The Archdiocese then began its own internal investigation in accordance with its policy. That process has not yet concluded.

The safety and well-being of our children and young people is of the utmost concern to the Archdiocese. Father Paul was allowed to remain at the parish during this time only after careful consideration of all available facts by the Archdiocesan Review Board, the Vicar for Clergy, the Director of Investigations, the Director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection and the Archbishop. Throughout this time, and as a matter of precaution, Father Paul's ministry had been restricted in that he had no unsupervised contact with minors. Appropriate notification of his restrictions was made to pertinent parties and a monitoring and support plan was implemented and followed.

In the interest of transparency, the Archdiocese shared information surrounding Father Paul's decision to resign at Masses at the parish this weekend. Counselors were made available to speak with anyone who wished to do so.

Archbishop Chaput has appointed Father John Babowitch as the new pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish. His assignment is effective December 2nd.


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