By Dan Wing
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has removed two more priests from ministry following an investigation into sexual abuse claims involving minors for incidents that took place over four decades ago.
In a written statement, Archbishop Charles Chaput says that separate investigations found that 75-year-old Reverend James Collins and 67-year-old Reverend John Paul “unfit for ministry.”
Both men had been placed on administrative leave last year. They were both accused of sexually abusing 17-year-old minors in 1974 in separate incidents.
The Archdiocese says the cases were referred to the district attorney’s office, which is not pressing charges. Collins and Paul can appeal the verdicts to the Vatican. If they choose not to, they could be laicized.
These allegations are not related to the 2011 grand jury report naming numerous priests in a church abuse scandal; nor are they related to the now overturned conviction of Monsignor William Lynn, which the district attorney is appealing to the state Supreme Court.