By Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Two active and one retired priest implicated in sexual abuse scandals have been declared unfit for service by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Fathers Joseph Gallagher and Mark Gasper will lose all rights to hold public ministry in the Archdiocese, and will also lose their rights to wear any clerical attire or identify themselves as priests.
Both were placed on administrative leave following a grand jury report in February of 2011.
Announcements were made at the parishes where both priests last served this weekend regarding the final decisions in their cases.
The archdiocese also announced that Monsignor Richard T. Powers, a retired priest, has been declared not suitable for ministry following a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor that occurred approximately 40 years ago outside the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Powers was not connected to the grand jury report of 2011, which focused on 26 people. Of the 26 cases, 19 of them have been resolved.
All of the priests declared unfit for service are allowed to appeal the decision to the Holy See.