PA- Chaput kept child sex allegations secret for months
For immediate release: Monday, Feb. 24, 2014
Statement by Barbara Dorris of St. Louis, Outreach Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 862 7688 home, 314 503 0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Pay close attention to the chronology of Fr. John P. Paul, whose status as a credibly accused child molester was finally disclosed last weekend.
In October or November of last year (perhaps even earlier), Philly Catholic officials received reports of alleged child sex crimes against Fr. Paul.
They kept quiet. And on November 6, Fr. Paul resigned (“He came to that decision of his own accord during the course of the Archdiocesan investigation regarding this alleged abuse,” Chaput claims.)
Fr. Paul claimed “considering a serious road trip for 'renewal' purposes.”
Again, Philly church officials kept silent. They let this lie stand.
Finally, earlier this month, Philly church officials admitted, to one parish, that Fr. Paul was suspended for credible allegations of child sex abuse crimes.
And finally, last weekend, Philly church officials told the public and the rest of their flock, that Fr. Paul was suspended for credible allegations of child sex abuse crimes.
Chaput doesn't explain why
1) He kept child sex abuse allegations secret for months.
2) He let one of his priests lie to his flock.
3) He told only one parish about Fr. Paul at first.
4) He waited until last weekend to tell the public about Fr. Paul.
Archbishop Charles Chaput is moving backwards, not forward, on children's safety.
Chaput claims that he “decided to restrict Father Paul's ministry so that he would have no unsupervised contact with minors pending the outcome of the internal Archdiocesan investigation that was in progress.”
Sound familiar? It should. That's what Catholic officials have said, for decades, to justify their irresponsible secrecy in clergy sex cases. On its face, that's a reckless move: asking one or two or three Catholic employees to try to keep an accused child molester away from kids.
And nowhere in the church's national abuse policy does it call for Catholic employees to keep accused predators away from children.
So we challenge Chaput to tell us which church employees, if anyone, he assigned to “watch” Fr. Paul and tell us exactly how they performed this impossible task.
And we challenge him to disclose how many other church employees are currently watching other suspected child molesters while secrecy is being maintained and alleged criminals are still on the job while so-called church “investigators” creep along at a glacial pace.
(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 15,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)
December 15, 2013
ANNOUNCEMENT REGARDING REVEREND JOHN P. PAUL
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has placed Reverend John P. Paul on administrative leave following allegations that he sexually abused minors over 30 years ago. While on administrative leave he is not permitted to exercise public ministry, administer any of the Sacraments, wear clerical attire or present himself publicly as a priest pending the outcome of the investigation.
This action is not connected to the resolutions of cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 Grand Jury Report announced earlier today.
Late last year and earlier this year, the Archdiocese received allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 40 years ago during his time as a seminarian.
Consistent with the Archdiocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People promulgated in October 2012, these allegations were reported to law enforcement, which, after a lengthy investigation, declined to press charges.
The allegations were also reviewed by the Archdiocesan Office of Investigations, the Office for Child and Youth Protection and the Office of the Vicar for Clergy. Those offices made a joint recommendation, approved by the Archdiocesan Professional Responsibility Review Board, and presented to the Archbishop, who decided to restrict Father Paul's ministry so that he would have no unsupervised contact with minors pending the outcome of the internal Archdiocesan investigation that was in progress. Notification of his restrictions was made to administrators at the parish and the parish school. A monitoring and support plan was implemented and followed throughout that time.
On November 6, 2013, Father Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish, Philadelphia, where he had been serving since 2000. He came to that decision of his own accord during the course of the Archdiocesan investigation regarding this alleged abuse.
Information Regarding Today's Announcement
Following Father Paul's resignation he moved to a private residence. He was not assigned to any parish and was not in active ministry. He continued to adhere to a monitoring and support plan. Subsequently, the Archdiocese received multiple, new allegations that Father Paul had sexually abused minors over 30 years ago. These allegations were reported to the appropriate district attorney's office. Father Paul will remain on administrative leave pending any possible action by law enforcement and a full internal investigation. In keeping with standing Archdiocesan policy, that internal investigation will not proceed until after law enforcement has concluded its process.
An announcement regarding Father Paul was made at Our Lady of Calvary Parish in Philadelphia last month to explain the circumstances surrounding his resignation. An additional announcement regarding his administrative leave was made at the parish this weekend.
Father Paul is 67 years old. He was ordained in 1972. He served at the following parishes and schools:
Saint Alphonsus, Maple Glen (1972-1974); Faculty, Archbishop Kennedy High School (1974-1975); Saint Isaac Jogues, Wayne (1974-1975); Faculty, Bishop McDevitt High School, Wyncote (1975-1986); Faculty, Saint James Catholic High School for Boys, Chester (1986-1990); Saint Robert, Chester (1986-1990); Faculty, Archbishop Kennedy High School (1990-1993); Saint Philip Neri, Lafayette Hill (1990-1995); Faculty, Kennedy-Kenrick High School, Norristown (1993-1997); Faculty, Archbishop Wood High School, Warminster (1997-2000); Saint Andrew, Newton (1997-2000); Our Lady of Calvary, Philadelphia (2000-2013); placed on administrative leave (2013).
To Make a Report
To report an allegation of sexual abuse, contact your local law enforcement agency and the Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.
To report a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, contact the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.
We recognize that this public notice may be painful to victims of sexual violence. If you need support or assistance, victim services and referrals are available to you through the Victim Assistance Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
50 State AG Call for Grand Jury
Any investigation must be:
- independent of and separate from the church
- must have subpoena powers and ability to compel testimony under oath
Anything short of these criteria is a sham and whitewash.
In addition, write letters to the editor, make phone calls to politicians as they can apply pressure to keep them responsive to our demand. We need to make efforts to ensure that they follow up on what the state is doing to investigate these crimes.
The Attorneys General of forty states have inquired about the grand jury process in Pennsylvania. Let's get statewide investigations going in fifty states.
Note to Letter Writers
Use your own words and style of writing. Cut and paste from the templates as you wish. Include your experiences, whether as a survivor or as a member of the community. And relate your letter to the state you were abused in or state now living in.