Northeast Times

Archdiocese suspends ex-pastor of Northeast church

A former Far North­east Cath­ol­ic pas­tor who resigned last month after al­leg­a­tions sur­faced that he had mo­les­ted a minor more than 40 years ago has been placed on ad­min­is­trat­ive leave by the city’s arch­diocese. 

While on leave, the Rev. John Paul, who had been Our Lady of Cal­vary pas­tor for 13 years, may not have any pub­lic min­istry, ac­cord­ing to an arch­dioces­an state­ment re­leased Sunday. He also may not ad­min­is­ter any of the sac­ra­ments, wear cler­ic­al at­tire or present him­self as a priest while church of­fi­cials in­vest­ig­ate him. The arch­diocese on Sunday also an­nounced it had re­solved the cases of sev­en oth­er priests it had been in­vest­ig­at­ing be­cause of al­leg­a­tions of sexu­al mis­con­duct fol­low­ing the re­lease of a Feb­ru­ary 2011 Phil­adelphia grand jury re­port. 

The Church said Paul’s case is not re­lated to the oth­er cases. On Nov. 10, arch­dioces­an spokes­man Ken Gav­in said the Church had re­ceived al­leg­a­tions Paul, 67, had sexu­ally ab­used minors dur­ing his time as a sem­in­ari­an. He said the priest had denied the al­leg­a­tions. Be­fore com­ing to Our Lady of Cal­vary in Mill­brook, Paul had served in sev­er­al sub­urb­an par­ishes and high schools, in­clud­ing Arch­bish­op Wood in Warmin­ster. 

The arch­diocese said Paul’s case was re­ferred to the DA’s of­fice. Last month, Tasha Jamer­son, the DA’s spokes­wo­man, said she couldn’t com­ment on cases un­less charges are filed, but she ad­ded that the DA couldn’t file charges any­way since the al­leg­a­tions are 45 years old and the stat­ute of lim­it­a­tions would have run out. In Novem­ber, Gav­in said the arch­diocese had not con­cluded its in­vest­ig­a­tion of Paul. On Sunday, the arch­diocese an­nounced it had fin­ished go­ing over al­leg­a­tions against sev­en oth­er priests, find­ing five of them to be “un­suit­able for min­istry.” The arch­diocese did not re­lease de­tails of the al­leg­a­tions.

The Church found an al­leg­a­tion that the Rev. Fran­cis J. Sch­lett sexu­ally ab­used a minor was un­sub­stan­ti­ated and that he was suit­able for min­istry. Sch­lett, 70, re­tired in 2005. He had served in sev­er­al sub­urb­an par­ishes, in­clud­ing Our Lady of Grace in Penndel, since his 1970 or­din­a­tion. Al­though the arch­dioces­an in­vest­ig­a­tion re­vealed the Rev. Zachary Navit “more likely than not” vi­ol­ated the Church’s Stand­ards of Min­is­teri­al Be­ha­vi­or and Bound­ar­ies, “there is no evid­ence that he poses a danger to chil­dren, and there is no in­dic­a­tion he would en­gage in a pat­tern of be­ha­vi­or that would ne­ces­sit­ate his re­mov­al from min­istry.” Since his 1994 or­din­a­tion, Navit had served in sev­er­al city and sub­urb­an par­ishes, in­clud­ing St. John Bosco in Hat­boro, Nativ­ity B.V.M. in Warmin­ster and Our Lady of Guada­lupe in Doylestown. 

The five found to be un­suit­able for min­istry after in­vest­ig­a­tion are:

• The Rev. Mi­chael Chap­man. The arch­diocese found an al­leg­a­tion Chap­man sexu­ally ab­used a minor to be sub­stan­ti­ated. Chap­man, 58, has served in many par­ishes throughout Phil­adelphia and its sub­urbs since his 1982 or­din­a­tion. He was chap­lain of Little Flower High School from 1983 to 1985.

• The Rev. Mark Fernandes, 40, who served in a few sub­urb­an par­ishes since his 2004 or­din­a­tion, vi­ol­ated the Stand­ards of Min­is­teri­al Be­ha­vi­or and Bound­ar­ies.

• The Rev. Joseph Glatts, 75, was or­dained in 1966 and served in many par­ishes and three high schools in and around Phil­adelphia and also was a U.S. Air Force chap­lain for 23 years. An al­leg­a­tion he vi­ol­ated the church’s be­ha­vi­or­al stand­ard was sub­stan­ti­ated, the arch­diocese said.

• The Rev. Steph­en Perz­an, 75, who served twice at Vis­it­a­tion B.V.M. in Kens­ing­ton as well as many city and sub­urb­an par­ishes, was found to have vi­ol­ated the be­ha­vi­or­al stand­ards. However, an al­leg­a­tion he sexu­ally ab­used a minor was not sub­stan­ti­ated by arch­dioces­an in­vest­ig­at­ors.

• The Rev. Peter Ta­locci, 54, was viewed sim­il­arly. In­vest­ig­at­ors sub­stan­ti­ated an al­leg­a­tion he vi­ol­ated the be­ha­vi­or­al stand­ards, but did not sub­stan­ti­ate an al­leg­a­tion he sexu­ally ab­used a minor. Since his 1986 or­din­a­tion, Ta­locci had served as sev­er­al sub­urb­an and Phil­adelphia par­ishes, in­clud­ing St. Mar­tin of Tours and Our Lady of Cal­vary in the North­east. Ta­locci also had served at St. Fran­cis Cab­rini in Fair­less Hills and was chap­lain of Bish­op Con­well High School from 1989 to 1990.

Oth­er than Paul, the priests had been on ad­min­is­trat­ive leave since 2011. Only one case re­mains to be de­cided. ••

You can reach at jloftus@bsmphilly.com.

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