2 more priests removed from ministry in Philadelphia

Feb. 23, 2014 at 12:13 PM
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PHILADELPHIA, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- The archdiocese of Philadelphia had permanently removed two more priests from the ministry over allegations of child sexual abuse, officials said.

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput announced Sunday in a statement the removal of the Rev. John P. Paul, formerly of Our Lady of Calvary Parish, and the Rev. James J. Collins, 75, a former professor of religious studies at Holy Family University in Northeast Philadelphia, the Philadelphia Inquirer reported.

Paul, who was accused of sexually abusing a teenager more than 40 years ago, was suspended by the archdiocese in December several weeks after he announced he would voluntarily retire.

Allegations against Paul were first made in early 2013, at which time he was allowed to continue preaching, but was barred from unsupervised contact with children, said Ken Gavin, an archdiocesan spokesman.

"The decision to restrict Father Paul's ministry instead of putting him on administrative leave was based on the information available at the time," Gavin said in December. "There was nothing there that was leading the review board to believe he was a danger to minors."

Collins also allegedly sexually abused a teenager decades ago.

Authorities have not released details on either case and have not pursued charges against Paul or Collins because statute of limitations had expired in both cases.

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