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Priests Suspended By Philadelphia Archdiocese Identified

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – As Roman Catholics marked Ash Wednesday, 21 priests suspended by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia a day earlier for alleged sexual abuse claims were identified.

On Tuesday, the Archdiocese announced the suspension from ministry of 21 priests cited by a Philadelphia Grand Jury report last month as ducking what the panel believed were credible accusations of abuse.

A statement issued by the Archdiocese says Cardinal Justin Rigali suspended the priests from active ministry pending a further review of allegations of child sex abuse raised against the priests but dismissed by an archdiocesan review board which ruled those complaints not credible.

A source has confirmed to CBSPhilly the following list of priests who were suspended by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia:

Monsignor John A. Close of St. Catherine of Siena in Wayne, Pa.
Father Mark Fernandes of St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Sellersville, Pa.
Monsignor J. Michael Flood of St. Luke the Evangelist in Glenside, Pa.
Rev. Joseph M. Glatts of SS. Simon and Jude in West Chester, Pa.
Rev. Steven J. Harris of St. Issac Jogues Catholic Church in Wayne, Pa.
Rev. Daniel J. Hoy of Our Lady of the Assumption in Strafford, Pa.
Fr. Andrew McCormick of Sacred Heart in Swedesburg, Pa.
Fr. Peter Talocci of St. Patrick’s in Malvern, Pa.
Fr. Phillip Barr of St. Edmond Parish in Philadelphia
Fr. John Bowe of St. Joseph in Warrington, Pa.
Fr. George Cadwallader of St. Vincent De Paul in Richboro, Pa.
Fr. Paul Castellani of St. Philomena in Lansdowne, Pa.
Fr. Michael Chapman of Ascension of Our Lord in Philadelphia
Msgr. Frances Feret of St. Adalbert’s Church in Philadelphia
Fr. Mark Gaspar of Our Lady of Charity in Brookhaven, Pa.
Msgr. Joseph Logrip of Mary, Mother of the Redeemer in North Wales, Pa.
Fr. Zachary Navit of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Doylestown, Pa.
Fr. Leonard Peterson of St. Maria Goretti Parish in Hatfield, Pa.
Fr. Robert Povish of St. Eleanor in Collegeville, Pa.
Fr. John Reardon of St. John of the Cross in Roslyn, Pa.
Fr. Thomas J. Rooney of St. Timothy in Philadelphia, Pa.

Read the full statement of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia (.pdf)

On February 16th, Rigali announced that three priests — Father Joseph DiGregoria, Father Joseph Gallagher, and Father Stephen Perzan, all of whom were specifically named in the Grand Jury report — were being suspended from public exercise of their ministry pending a second review of their cases.

At that time, Rigali stated that the Archdiocese planned a re-review of the 34 other cases of priest child sex abuse cited by the Grand Jury’s review of those files as being credible.

According to the statement from the Archdiocese, five other priests would have been subject to suspension, but one is already on leave and two others are said to be incapacitated and have not been in active ministry.

Two others are members of a religious order which has not been identified and are no longer serving in the Archdiocese, according to the statement. But their superiors have been notified as well as bishops of the dioceses where they are living.

The Archdiocese says the eight remaining priests cited by the Grand Jury will not be suspended and that the initial independent examination of those cases found no further investigation warranted.

Due to the statute of limitations, none of the priests will face criminal charges.

Watch this video…

On Tuesday, Cardinal Rigali released a statement that read in part: “I know that for many people their trust in the church has been shaken.” “The 2011 grand jury report … presented us with serious concerns that demand a decisive response.”

Many people expressed their dissatisfaction and anger with the way the scandal has been handled by church officials.

“It’s like they’re trying more to protect their priests and their reputation than to protect their children and their parishioners,” said Barbara Hedgecock, of Treydiffrin Township.

And Bob Pisani, a parishioner of St. Katharine of Siena in Wayne where Monsignor John Close was pastor, had this to say: “It’s just a really sad thing. I think we’re really upset by it. As a member of the church it’s really hard to see that happen.”

Rigali’s actions Tuesday were recommended by Gina Maisto Smith, a former Philadelphia assistant DA who handled sex abuse crimes while a prosecutor. She was hired last month after the Grand Jury report to advise the Archdiocese on these matters.

David Clohessy, executive director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (“SNAP”), calls Rigali’s move a long overdue step which will make children safer in the short term.

But he says much more remains to be done.

“Suspending credibly accused child molesters is just a smart defense move and it’s great PR and it’s something, frankly, that Rigali has no choice but to do,” Clohessy told KYW Newsradio.

Sources say the suspended priests began getting notifications Monday morning and were told to clear out of their parishes by 5 p.m. Monday.

The announcement came on the eve of Ash Wednesday, the start of the Roman Catholic Church’s 40-day observance of Lent, a time of penance, prayer and sacrifice.

  • bbrcw

    Fry them all…..they’re no better than anyone else!

  • Tom

    This is a law enforcement matter. Anything short of that is inexcusable. I am tired of the pious statements and apologies. They are meaningless in light of what continues to emerge.

  • CatholicGirl

    Question – What is the difference between these two?

    “I did not have sex with that woman”


    “There are no priests in active ministry who have credible abuse charges against them”

    Answer: Nothing. The men who both said this are liars.

    Resign, Mr. Rigali. And take your flock who looked the other way with you. They know who they are.

  • Andrea
  • Abuse Survivor

    Someone will no doubt rush to defend these preists saying “he is the nicest man on earth!” When will the world wake up and realize professional child abusers are not the obvious “dirty old men.” They are cunning and skillful in getting what they want. They steal innocence from children with the same skill as Bernie Madoff stole millions from investors. And still, people who met and spoke wi th him personally will say “he was the nicest man on earth!” Nice does not mean someone is innocent. Perhaps it just means they are very good at what they do! Rush to defend CHILDREN not adults who know better! Remove the Statute of Limitations that prevents now grown children from getting justice and serves only to protect more and more child molesters!

    • Diana

      as a child i went through a lot of things a young girl should never go through let alone any human being. However there are a lot of cruel people in this world also. I know a girl who put a man behind bars for 17 years until found not guilty because he didn’t want to date her so she accused him of rape but the both agreed to sex. she told me everything but i wasn’t not a creditable source because the man was my cousin .I believe that this could happen even priests but we need to wait and make sure our sources are legitimate before we jump to accused. I wanted an innocent man spend his prime years pleading his case and no one believed him I will give anyone the benefit of the doubt even through i went through rough roads as a child because there are evil people in this world not just molesters.

  • anonymous

    this is awful i cant believe my priest is this.. father haris he wasnt very nice anyway

  • Andrea

    Thank you for posting the list. The Church has zero interest in protectiing our children which leaves it to the parents of the children to do so. It makes our job as parents that much harder when the higher ups in the church simply “reassign” offenders, or in other words, set them loose on a new unsuspecting parish with a new set of vulnerable children to victimize. Here is what my former parish posts on its website:

    Father Bowe’s faith, energy and sense of humor have played a large part in the significant growth the parish has seen since his arrival. Although deeply devoted and respectful of all his parishioners, Father Bowe is probably the first priest in St. Agnes’ history to be seen chasing the parish children with his oversized water gun.

    Father Bowe is one of the 21 priests that have been suspended. Looks like he got “reassigned”. Thanks to the Catholic Church for helping perpetrate crimes against children. Thank God in heaven this guy didn’t get his grimy paws on my child while he was at St. Agnes.

    Parents, watch over your children like hawks. The Church is NOT going to do this for you.

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  • Cassie

    Father Glatts was part of my church when I went to gradeschool and I can honestly say that he never appeared to be who they are saying he is. However, without facts none of us can truly say whether these priests did anything. We’ll have to wait and see.

    I feel that if the Catholic church allowed priests to marry, then we wouldn’t have this problem at the same time. You don’t see much of this with other religions, then again it may not be exploited by the media.

    • abw80girl

      Let me ask you this, Cassie. If YOU had to abstain from sex, like a priest, would you turn to a child for your sexual outlet? NO! If these priests were normal, they would abstain or if they had to, would get there sexual satisfaction like other normal people…with a consenting ADULT! This goes much deeper than the priests being allowed to marry…married people molest children too… has NOTHING to do with marriage, it has to do with MOLESTING!

  • PM

    Well put Diana. Mentally ill people prey on young children. It is more and more difficult to do that today than years ago. We all have to be vigilant and respond to children, and believe them. They need to feel safe in order to grow up with confidence and self respect.

  • Cristina

    I am sorry Diana but the problem here is not that there are criminals in the ranks of the Catholic Church…..THE PROBLEM is that the “NON” Criminals aka Church Authorities have been protecting them or “aiding and abetting” for decades….WHO can you really trust if your parish priest is an abuser??????Can you imagine that they remove him from your parish and 5 years later you move and he is the head of your new church….I bet if you were a kid you will be pretty scared…..
    The people that keep on saying that there are pedophiles everywhere as an explanation is not helping this institution change for the better???The rank and file is part of the problem…used not to question…..not willing to question…. Don’t we learn that Jesus as a kid confronted the Jewish Priests…and call them on their wrongs, Catholics should ask themselves…”what would Jesus do?

    • silas

      republican jesus would take the money and start the 700 club.

      It;s all a scam.

      christians, muslims, hidus, sikhs, buddhists, branch davidians, heaven’s gate, jim jones, bakker, swaggert, orel roberts, they are all the same, Clever PR men fleecing the idiots..Living the good life while preaching the apocalypse

    • Diana


  • Cristina

    God has nothing to do with this..The Catholic Church was created by MEN……and has been committing all kinds of sins…hiding behind the CROSS,…..It (the catholic CHURCH) has failed its people time and time again…….There saintly people on its ranks but …..the dark side has to be acknowledge…..Too FEW MEN with TOO much Power a recipe for disaster…….I would not expect Catholics do not abandon their faith but hope that this will lead them to seek to have more say in the institution…….GOOD LUCK!!!

    • silas

      Good point christina! But the Catholics should abandon this faith in child rapists and maybe take back those piles of gold in Italy to compensate the victimes

      This is powerful men writing this Bible to keep powerful men, powerful

      It works for them as the rubes throw cash at these child rapists

  • Linda O'G

    WHY has none of this been done before, after the 2002 Grand Jury investigation. I had hope, but my hope is slipping fast. We, the people, are the church. Not some buildings, or some hierarchy are the Church. We must press for the truth!

    • Lorraine

      None of this has been taken care of before because the statute of limitations had run out before the Grand Jury indicted these “alleged” perpetrators. So, in fact, all is for naught. My question is why the victims or their parents never brought charges when the “alleged” crimes occurred or within the statute of limitations? How can so many victims remain silent for sooo very long. I’m very sure there are some who are guilty but we will never know for sure because justice is not going to truly prevail in these cases. We can only guess! Personally, to my own dismay, I know five of the accused and am heartsick. Thank you for the reminder that, WE, THE PEOPLE, ARE THE CHURCH, and the Catholic Church is still the most charitable organization in the world. God Bless!

  • diana

    there is evil all over this world teachers police officers priests and other citizens in this crazy society. I am a mother and a catholic and this does not change my faith in god. We need to wait and see after they investigate; justice will be served to the ones who hurt children. But we cant accuse until evidence comes out and proves them guilty. As a mother it is OUR job to protect our children from mentally unstable people and not allow ANYONE around our children without us being in their presence. We can’t even trust our neighbors.

    • PM

      Well said Diana. These are different times. You have to monitor everything your child is doing, Facebook, computer time, texting, sexting, etc. They need to know you are on top of it for their very own good.

  • Steph

    We don’t know what specifically happened with any of these priests or if they have actually committed a kind of crime. Wait for the facts. Imagine being accused of a crime you didn’t commit and having to live with it the rest of your life! Wouldn’t be fair to you and it isn’t fair to them.

    I am the last person to defend the church but to condemn people without facts is irresponsible and evil.

  • Dave

    Innocent until proven guilty. Hopefully some lives will not be ruined until all evidence is submitted and judged.

  • Maggie

    My heart aches at such perversion and these men will have to answer to God. It is faith shaking…however, my faith is in God my saviour, not on human frailty. I do not place my faith in these perverted individuals but in a God who is just and will render justice. I wish peace to those who have been hurt , and that the Good Lord grant them the strenth and wisdom to forgive as Christ forgave us on the Cross.

  • JFK

    Cardinal Rigali should resign, and Cardinal Bevilacuashould be questioned as to his involvement. If his health prevents this, the questioners will be able to discern this.

  • tmr

    Stef and Margie are assuming all these priests are guilty. There is a big difference between being guilty and accused. The archdiocese is responding to the public outcry for justice and some innocent, good men will have to suffer. Probably a majority of those 21 are guilty but some are innocent.

  • Donna Kryszczak

    These priests should be considered “murderers of childrens souls”. When are they going to start paying for what they’ve done? Any citizen like you or are I would be thrown in jail. Still they are being hidden away, and the church asks for trust that they will do whats right. If it were’t so sad, you’d have to laugh at that one.

  • Christian

    I am glad the Cardinal is making a change and outing these priests, although he was pushed to do it. My issue is these priests and others before just retire. They will be a constant financial burden on the parishes that financial support them. Next step… kick them out of the priesthood!

  • Susan Matthews

    Too little. Too late.

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  • margie t

    It is about time the church started to practice what they preach .They talk about confessing your sins what about them? They need to stop being hypocrites and get rid of all the perveted priests that are still out there, just because they hide behind a collar does not excuse them from getting what they deserve going to jail where they belong.

  • tleofie

    Please explain to me why there is a statue of limatation on a child sex abuse crime! These victims have no statue of limitationson their feelings! This is with them forever! These men should be held responsible for their crimes, no matter how long ago it was!

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