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Philly Archdiocese Puts 2 Retired Priests On Leave

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia placed two retired priests on administrative leave Wednesday, bringing to 23 the number of priests suspended following a scathing grand jury report on allegations of child sex abuse.

Cardinal Justin Rigali placed the priests on leave pending an investigation. He did not identify them.

One priest retired in 2006 and has assisted at parishes in another diocese where he lives, and that diocese has been informed of the suspension, the archdiocese said in a statement. The other priest retired in 2005 and, because of health problems, is not serving in any public ministry.

Last month, a grand jury blasted the archdiocese in a report that charged two priests, a former priest and a Catholic school teacher. A former high-ranking church official was also accused of transferring problematic priests without warning anyone at their new parishes of sex-abuse complaints. Earlier this month, the archdiocese suspended 21 priests who were named as child molestation suspects in the report.

The priests suspended Wednesday were not referenced in the grand jury report, but the church’s actions are the result of a continuing dialogue with the district attorney’s office, said Donna Farrell, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese.

The actions come at the recommendation of Gina Maisto Smith, a former city child abuse prosecutor who is conducting an independent review of cases for the archdiocese. In its statement, the archdiocese said Smith and a team of experts will more fully investigate the cases of administrative leave.

“These steps are interim measures and are not in any way final determinations or judgments,” the statement said.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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One Comment

  1. MICHAEL says:

    All Assembly And Senate Members:

    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,

Comments are closed.

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