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.


One Comment

  1. Barbara says:

    Does anyone remember the pain that Roseanne Barr caused her family when she claimed sexual abuse???? Only later admitting it wasn’t true.
    I have known Fr. Bowe for many years. The accusation came from a parishioner in the parrish of his first assignment. That was 35 years ago. There haven’t been any of reports since then. If he was truly a preditor, this would not be the case. I believe there are people who have jumped on the band wagon to collect the big payoffs that others have received.

  2. Diana says:


  3. e says:

    fr bowe would never do that. i’ve known him my entire life. he’s been a family friend for many years. he would NEVER do that to a child. this man gave my uncles funeral mass, went to a number of family gatherings and has been a great friend to my family. he is innocent.

  4. DJB says:

    I have known one of the Priests since I was 11 years old. This accusation has hurt me deeply. In all the time I have known this Priest, he has been nothing but a servant of God, a scholar, and a wise and wonderful person. The man is not capable of ever hurting anyone, let alone a child.

    It really calls into question the legitimacy of some of these claims.

    1. MikeM says:

      Satan is clever. He draws people who are otherwise great men into the worst kinds of sin, and can leave the most thoroughly evil men looking saintly. He is, after all, the “father of lies.”

      That said, it’s been suggested that at least half of the settlements made in California were bogus… most of the priests submitted to polygraph tests and were found truthful in their denial of wrongdoing, while not a single accuser was willing to submit to such a test. Wicked men have certainly entered our priesthood, and other priests have fallen into wickedness after their ordination… but it wouldn’t surprise me in the least if most of these men were innocent of these crimes.

      The Church needs to step up its recent efforts to encourage victims to report such crimes to the police. The archdiocese is not equipped to investigate what did or did not happen in a private setting a decade ago. Both accusers and the accused deserve a fair trial in a court of law. Then we can get the real dirtbags out of ministry, clear the names of the innocent, and deliver real justice to those who were actually victims.

  5. M. O'M says:

    For those who say this happens in the public school, of course it does. The difference is the perpetrator is not cloaked in secrecy and given another job in another area without warning. Just last week a suburban school district’s case against an employee was finalized – turned him over to the cops, he was found guilty. In jail and on Megan’s List for the rest of his life at age 25. Never again will he be allowed to take a job (or volunteer activity) that involves children. THAT is how it’s done, not Shuffle and Hide. Repeated confession with no behavior change is Not acceptable in child sexual predation.

    On the case of priests marrying – absolutely correct that only mentally ill people abuse children. Marriage makes no difference in their proclivities. But what it Would do is give the Archdioceses a larger pool of good men from which to draw, making the leadership less desperate to keep every pervert who is attracted by the promise of unquestioned power over children. Do people even realize that Catholic priests could marry for over a thousand years? But too much church wealth was being lost to inheritance, so Pope Benedict VIII issued an edict that stopped priests from marrying so they would have no heirs. The church takes care of its treasure. By that I mean gold, not children.

    My prayers are with those of you whose lives have been upturned over this. My family converted to Episcopalian years ago. When I see news that the Archdiocese was not going to name the priests until the list was leaked and they were forced to, I’m glad I no longer tithe to the Catholic church, nor donate money to defend its apparently non-repentant sinners…the perpetrators, the hiders, and the shufflers. And I pray, too, for the thousands of wonderful non-abusive priests, who must live with this very public stigma that tarnishes their service and sacrifice for God with doubt and mistrust. Once your parishioners realize that any priest could be on ‘the secret list,’ it makes us very wary of trusting priests who seem to be okay…but I still can’t let my children be alone with him. Just in case. …That’s awful.

    1. silas says:

      Very well said. I can’t believe more Catholics aren’t rushing for the exits. Corrupt from top to bottom. (No pun intended)

    2. MikeM says:

      Sadly, in many public schools, the teachers are simply left to teach, or shifted to another school. There have been about five times as many accusations in public schools as there have been in the Church in the US, and many of them have been covered up. Hofstra University did a report on it in 2004, if you’re interested.

      When teachers unions were caught protecting child molesters, the president of the NEA had only this to say: “Students must be protected from sexual predators and abuse, and teachers must be protected from false accusations.” The schools and the unions focused more on the latter than the former.

      Other denominations and religions also have similar numbers of sex abuse allegations, and many of them have been found in similar “cover-ups” (in fact, the Episcopalian bishop in Philadelphia supposedly covered up sex-abuse by his brother).

      The tragic fact is that something like 1 in 5 children in this country are sexually abused. That doesn’t excuse the Church’s inaction after accusations are made… but it does indicate that there’s no need to be more suspicious around priests than anyone else… because, unfortunately, parents have to be vigilant everywhere.

  6. d says:

    Uh, not only does this crime occur elsewhere and with greater frequency, but when one looks around it seems that the Catholic Church is one of the few organizations to really ‘man-up’ and do the messy work of expelling these criminals (publicly, no less) from its midst, implementing ‘safe environment’ programs (for which they are leaders in the entire nation in implementing countermeasures to this crime… not only among priests, but all who work within the Church), and then making some kind of restitution to the victims. I don’t see anyone ‘making excuses’ for these men. Just the opposite. These priests have been punatively removed before all the facts are known, so it could be argued that they are not even receiving the benefit of due process from their archdiocese. We do expect more of our priests than simply being ‘better’ than the average organizaiton out there–and rightfully so. The sacred mission of the Church deserves no less.

  7. Anselm says:

    Just for the record the national rate of sexual abuse among ob/gyn doctors is the same as priests. Both are horribly wrong and must be dealt with but don’t pretend it is a Catholic Priest problem. Have you ever read the statistics of sexual abuse of children in families? The numbers are scary.

    As far as what other religion do you see abuse? get real sex abuses hits every part of life, religion is not the factor- it is people in power and authority who use it to exploit children. Boy Scout Leaders, Priests, Ministers, Rabbis, Uncles, Fathers, Siblings, Teachers….It is everywhere.

    1. Chrsitian Rideout says:

      OGGYN doctors do not abuse adolescents, unless they do so outside their practice. I am certainly not making a excuse for them.

  8. David says:

    It’s just as common in other religions, and far more common in public schools; you just don’t see those reported in the mainstream media. Not that this in any way excuses the Catholic Church, but it doesn’t help the victims to pretend that this type of abuse is only a Catholic problem.

    1. silas says:

      “Far more common in the Public Schools”??? Show us the data, dude. The Protestants generally quietly kick the preacher out, and leave him to fend for himself if there is any legal action. The Catholics shuffle the abuser off to an unsuspecting parish to commit more crimes, than deny everything. If it weren’t for this Grand Jury, Rigali and his fellow enablers would just keep on sucking up cash from the rubes.

      If there were this all-knowing, vengeful God, who cares so deeply about who puts which body part in whom (without the magic words wedding mumbo jumbo) you believe in, there would be a whole lot of smokin’ priest corpses laying around after the lightening bolt hit them

      It’s all a scam, tax free, and the priests get to wear a dress.

    2. MikeM says:

      Look up the report on the matter from Hofstra University from 2004

  9. LT says:

    I’m catholic and can keep my faith without being blind to the horrors committed by those who we were taught to respect and obey. Fortunately I had a father who taught me long ago that just because an individual wears a collar or a habit they are not above the rest of us. They still need to earn that respect. The church still needs to address the responsibility from the top. This is not just Philadelphia but world wide. The pope, bishops, cardinals, and other leaders in the church need to come down from the gilded fortresses and take responsibility for their part in covering ups, protecting the abusers, and delaying taking action.

    In addition, there needs to be something done that will lift the statute of limitations. Physical and sexual abuse is a horror. It is not like robbing a bank or stealing a car. The victim is left in a world of fear and shame and the repercussions of abuse are often hidden and may not surface till later in life. They deserve their day to testify in criminal court.

    1. MD says:

      You are right … all those involved in the cover ups need to be accounted for and punished as well for it their ignorance that allowed the abusers to continue the abuse for years.

  10. PM says:

    Just as I suspected. I reviewed the IRS Form 990 and the amount of money spent on outreach and “publications” is barely 5% and that is going out on a limb. Nothing makes my blood boil more than 501(c)(3) organizations hell bent on advancing their own personal political agendas, at the expense of unwitting donors. SNAP. You need to be more transparent on your website, and you do not need to give the impression that just because you are rated by Independent Charities of America those who contribute to that, support you. You also do not provide financial statements compiled, reviewed or audited by an independent accountant. I would say that is something you should work on.

  11. MICHAEL says:

    All Assembly And Senate Members: 02/27/11
    Trenton, New Jersey

    Senate Bill# S2405
    Assembly Bill# A3622

    The horrendous crime of Sexual Assault to a minor, is extremely real in our state of New Jersey. Over the last several years many advocates and supporters have come forward to address the injustice and constitutionality about laws that crime victims have had to unfairly face in New Jersey.
    The criminal law statute for sexual assault was changed in 1995. There is no criminal statute now and rightfully so, in New Jersey, for a victim from sexual assault, to file a criminal claim.
    However, just a few legislative sessions ago, Our New Jersey Government did away with another barrier sex crime victims have had in filing and prosecuting criminals that rape children. This was the amendment to a charity shield, called charitable immunity law, in New Jersey.
    This charity law was a bar for many claimants. However, a civil law statute expired for filing civil complaints, while waiting for that charity immunity law to be amended, like it was. With much angst to the fact that there has been no remedy in the ability to prosecute and punish certain known offenders within the Camden Diocese,
    I am a child sex crime victim that still has no legal representation in New Jersey, due to this statute in civil law under review. Attorneys wont file criminal complaints for me, because a civil complaints bar is still pending this legislation..
    To mention that the sex offenders that are not registered with the state, are also not removed from positions that endanger children. Also, there currently is still the inability to punish, rehabilitate or incarcerate these criminals, that statistically re-offend across the boarder. In addition, there is no legal authority to govern and/or enforce any civility over these criminals and institutions that have protected them.
    Please Help.
    These reported upon known offenders will be prosecuted and punished when the bars that have protected them, removed.
    While New Jersey has always been on the forefront for Child protection and advocacy, Our great state’s laws are missing a large target of criminals, that we as a governing body have the ability to resolve and amend these discrepancies, with this legislation.
    This is all so in the effort that our justice system and the agents available within it, are able to perform the civil service that sex crime victims should other wise expect from them and be entitled too.
    Thank you for voting this bill to the Budget and Appropriations Committee, a vote 9-0. If you have not voted for this bill yet or signed on to Co-Spenser, please join in. And when the bill comes to the Assembly and the Senate again, for the final vote, I hope you will have extended this invitation to colleges for voting in favor of this urgent and needed amendment to New Jersey Sex Crime Laws.
    Thank you,

  12. bbrcw says:

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

  13. Tom says:

    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.

  14. CatholicGirl says:

    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.

  15. Abuse Survivor says:

    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!

    1. Diana says:

      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.

  16. anonymous says:

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

  17. Andrea says:

    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.

  18. Cassie says:

    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.

    1. abw80girl says:

      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!

  19. PM says:

    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.

  20. Cristina says:

    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?

    1. silas says:

      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

    2. Diana says:


  21. Cristina says:

    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!!!

    1. silas says:

      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

  22. Linda O'G says:

    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!

    1. Lorraine says:

      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!

  23. diana says:

    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.

    1. PM says:

      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.

  24. Steph says:

    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.

  25. Dave says:

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

  26. Maggie says:

    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.

  27. JFK says:

    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.

  28. tmr says:

    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.

  29. Donna Kryszczak says:

    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.

  30. Christian says:

    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!

  31. margie t says:

    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.

  32. tleofie says:

    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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