By Cleve Bryan

CHADDS FORD, Pa. (CBS) — A package of what is believed to contain illegal drugs was sent to a priest in Chadds Ford.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia says staff at Saint Cornelius Parish opened a package on Tuesday that was addressed to Monsignor Gregory Parlante, who has been away from the parish for several weeks due to health-related issues and other personal matters.

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Pennsylvania State Police executed a search warrant related to possible criminal drug activity.

According to the Philadelphia Archdiocese, an envelope addressed to Parlante came to the church on Tuesday that contained what staff thought were illegal drugs.

They reported it to state police who executed a search warrant at the parish on Wednesday.

Authorities have not commented on exactly what was in the envelope, or if they suspect Parlante is involved in illegal drug activity.

All this comes after the archdiocese told parishioners on May 21 that Parlante was being replaced.

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Four days ago, Parlante made his own announcement in the church bulletin, saying, “For the past few years my health has not totally recovered from my near death illness. In March I began a medical leave to address my health issues. I asked the Archbishop to accept my resignation as pastor so that I can totally devote my time to becoming well”

Walter Moniz, a member of the parish, says Palante has been an important person in his family’s lives.

“He married my daughter back a few years ago. He impressed me as bright and intelligent, kind of a business guy as well as an excellent preacher,” said Moniz.

Parlante has been a priest for 35 years and was the pastor at Saint Cornelius for 13 years.


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