March 2014 Update: John P. Paul Removed from the Ministry
Yet another Philadelphia area priest has been placed on leave after a second set of sex abuse allegations surfaced. Last month, the Philadelphia Archdiocese placed Father John P. Paul on administrative leave, pending an investigation into sexual abuse allegations. This particular priest was not previously indicated in the 2011 Philadelphia Grand Jury report, and was not therefore originally investigated for sexual abuse.
Philadelphia Priest John P. Paul
John Paul is in his late 60’s and was ordained in 1972. His prior assignments include:
- Saint Alphonsus, Maple Glen (1972-1974),
- Archbishop Kennedy High School (1974-1975),
- Saint Isaac Jogues, Wayne (1974-1975),
- Bishop McDevitt High School, Wyncote (1975-1986),
- Saint James Catholic High School for Boys, Chester (1986-1990),
- Saint Robert, Chester (1986-1990),
- Archbishop Kennedy High School (1990-1993),
- Saint Philip Neri, Lafayette Hill (1990-1995),
- Kennedy-Kenrick High School, Norristown (1993-1997),
- Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster (1997-2000),
- Saint Andrew, Newton (1997-2000), and
- Our Lady of Calvary, Philadelphia (2000-2013).
First Allegations of Sexual Abuse
According to an Archdiocese December 15, 2013 press release, in 2012 and 2013, allegations surfaced that Father Paul had sexually abused minors roughly 40 years ago, while a seminarian. As a result of those allegations, Father Paul’s ministry was restricted so that he would have no unsupervised contact with minors. Late last year, Father Paul resigned as a pastor at Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Northeast Philadelphia.
In addition, the Archdiocese reported these 40 year old allegations to local law enforcement, which according to the Archdiocese, has since declined prosecution. The main reason for this is likely due to the age of the allegations. Corroborating sexual abuse which occurred 40 years ago is very difficult. Memories fade and evidence is simply unavailable after such a long period of time.
Second Allegations of Sexual Abuse
After Father Paul resigned, the Archdiocese indicated that it received “multiple, new allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 30 years ago.” While the Archdiocese indicated it reported these allegations to law enforcement, it is unclear whether these new allegations will result in prosecution.
Anyone with any information about priest abuse, clergy abuse, child sexual abuse or sexual abuse is urged to contact the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office:
- Special Victims Unit: 215-685-3252
- Family Violence and Sexual Assault Unit: 215-686-8080
Contacting the District Attorney’s office can be overwhelming. Mr. Kent offers free, confidential consultations to all victims of sex abuse. 800.220.7600
Related Philadelphia Priest Abuse Legal Articles:
- List of Philadelphia Priests Put on Leave in 2011
- Another Philadelphia Priest Arrested for Child Sex Abuse