Phila. priest removed over sex allegation

PHILADELPHIA - November 23, 2010

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia on Monday removed the Rev. William Ayres as pastor of St. Michael parish in North Philadelphia.

Church officials say Ayres has been accused of abusing a minor in the mid-1990s while he attended St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in the city's Overbrook neighborhood.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Donna Farrell declined to discuss the specifics of the allegation but said it had been referred to the district attorney's office.

The 39-year-old Ayres is staying at a home for retired priests. A message left for him was not immediately returned Tuesday.

This comes just days after the sudden resignation of the Rev. Geraldo Pinero of the Incarnation of Our Lord Parish Church in Olney after his rectory was searched by federal agents.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia stated the Rev. Pinero's resignation was for the good of the parish pending the outcome of the investigation.

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