2 Philadelphia priests accused of abuse

May 21, 2012 at 11:25 AM
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PHILADELPHIA, May 21 (UPI) -- A monsignor and a retired peer, each accused of sexually abusing a minor, have been found unsuitable for ministry, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia said.

The archdiocese said it had substantiated a claim against Monsignor George J. Mazzotta. He had served most recently at Stella Maris Parish in Philadelphia and St. Madeline Parish in Ridley Park, Pa.

Retired Monsignor Hugh P. Campbell told the archdiocese in December he had sexually abused a minor, a news release from the archdiocese said. Campbell had most recently served at St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish in West Chester.

The archdiocese did not provide details on either case, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Donna Farrell, a spokeswoman for the archdiocese, would not provide details, including the ages or genders of the minors.

The allegation against Mazzotta was received by the archdiocese in May 2010 and it reported it to law enforcement and made his name public, the Inquirer said. The incident, which occurred more than 40 years ago, was the only such claim against him, the archdiocese said.

Mazzotta, 73, and Campbell, 77, who retired in 2007, agreed to accept a supervised life of prayer and penance, the release from the archdiocese said.

David Clohessy, director of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, questioned why the archdiocese took so long to make public the allegations against the two priests.

The Philadelphia District Attorney's Office is handling a major case involving allegations of child abuse by Catholic priests, and Monsignor William J. Lynn, a former secretary for clergy, is being tried for covering up child abuse.

The Inquirer said 26 priests were suspended over allegations after a grand jury report last year on alleged clergy sex abuse.

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