Priests suspended by Phila. archdiocese named

March 10, 2011 6:57:36 AM PST
Action News has learned the names of the 21 priests suspended by the Philadelphia archdiocese following a scathing report by a grand jury investigating child molestation claims.

On Tuesday, Philadelphia Cardinal Justin Rigali placed 21 priests on leave. Starting on Wednesday, individual parishes were notified about the suspensions.

Those priests are listed below, along with their date of ordination:

Rev. Philip Barr (1948)
Rev. John Bowe (1973)
Rev. George Cadwallader (1992)
Rev. Paul Castellani (1996)
Rev. Michael Chapman (1982)
Msgr. John Close (1969)
Msgr. Francis Feret (1962)
Rev. Mark Fernandes (2004)
Msgr. Michael Flood (1968)
Rev. Mark Gaspar (1998)
Rev. Joseph Glatts (1966)
Rev. Steven Harris (1980)
Rev. Daniel Hoy (1948)
Msgr. Joseph Logrip (1972)
Rev. Andrew McCormick (1982)
Rev. Zachary Navit (1994)
Rev. Leonard Peterson (1967)
Rev. Robert Povish (1990)
Rev. John Reardon (1973)
Rev. Thomas Rooney (1991)
Rev. Peter Talocci (1986)

Also on Wednesday, Cardinal Rigali called on the faithful to pray for healing in the church and of sexual abuse victims.

Rigali spoke to hundreds of Roman Catholics attending a lunchtime Mass at the city's basilica on Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the Lenten season of penance.

During his homily Rigali said, "Whoever harms a child must remember the words of Jesus: It would be better for him to have a great millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea."

While stopping short of an outright apology, the cardinal told worshippers, "I personally renew my deep sorrow to the victims of sexual abuse in the community of the church and to all others, including so many faithful priests who suffer as the result of this great evil and crime."

He stated that "the protection of children is tantamount" and said the archdiocese is working "to make every effort possible to prevent these evil acts and to protect children from harm.

"In this spirit, as I announced yesterday, the archdiocese is having re-examined cases of concern to the grand jury about allegations of abuse of minors or boundary issues by some priests," he said. "We are likewise re-evaluating the way we handle allegations."

Meanwhile, sex abuse victims and other protestors gathered outside the Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul for a silent protest as parishioners arrived for Ash Wednesday services.

The protestors included Father Robert Hoatson of New Jersey, who is suing two archdiocese for his experiences.

"I'm also a survivor of clergy sexual abuse myself and, when I began to help victims, my bishop put me on administrative leave and is punishing me for speaking out about this," said Father Hoatson.

"It's so important that Catholic masses understand the damage that this is causing," said protestor Annette Nestle of Upper Deerfield, New Jersey.

Some of the faithful coming to get their ashes on Wednesday were also learning for the first time the names of those suspended.

"It's a shame. It's a bad name on the Catholics," said Delores Phillips of Northeast Philadelphia. "But there's a lot of good ones out there."

"It's something that should have never have happened, especially to little kids. Anybody, really," said Mary DiSilvestro of Northeast Philadelphia. "Horrible."

The Wayne area has been especially hard hit with three parishes affected - a priest and two pastors have been removed from their duties. That includes the pastor of St. Katharine of Sienna.

Parishioners learned the news during Ash Wednesday mass. Monsignor John Close has been a well respected Pastor at St. Katharine's. The faithful here find it hard to believe that he's now caught up in the child sex scandal that's rocked the Catholic Church.

"I'm kind of disappointed in the archdiocese and how they drug it out. It's something that should have been taken care of long ago," said Scott Murphy of Chesterbrook.

The parishioners of St. Isaac Jogues in Tredyffrin have also lost their pastor, the Reverend Steven Harris. They quietly left mass, clearly saddened by the news.

It was the same at Our Lady of the Assumption in Stratford. At the age of 87, Father Daniel Hoy has been removed from his duties.

The men were all referred to, but not named, in last month's grand jury report. They are not charged with any crimes, but have been placed on administrative leave while their cases are reexamined.

"I think it was a very good move for him to do that at this point because we have to find out what the truth is," said Jean O'Donnell of St. Davids.

"They had to do something. Things are getting out of hand in my opinion," said Dom DeMitis of Wayne.

Many said they were disappointed with the way the church has handled the situation up until now. Some are taking it even further.

"I would suggest that Cardinal Rigali should resign for the way it has been handled," said Jerry O'Connor of Villanova.

"I love my church and because I care about the church and I care about the community I really would like to see Cardinal Rigali step down," said Kristin Russo of Wayne.

Despite the anger, very few we spoke with say their faith has been shaken by the scandal. They're devoted to the church, not the men in charge.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.