'Father Jerry' ousted by Phila. Archdiocese

Rev. Geraldo Pinero
Rev. Geraldo Pinero
Posted: July 17, 2012

THE ARCHDIOCESE of Philadelphia announced Sunday that another priest is unsuitable for ministry.

But it is not clear exactly what the Rev. Geraldo Piñero, who was known as "Father Jerry," did.

Piñero, 47, was involved in various online-marketing ventures, including selling candles, but the Archdiocese in a statement pointed to a website dealing with standards of behavior involving children and youths as the reason for his being unfit for ministry.

Piñero, who most recently had served as pastor at Incarnation of Our Lord Parish at 5th Street and Lindley Avenue in Olney, was found unsuitable "after a substantiated violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries," the statement said.

He had stepped down as pastor of Incarnation in November 2010 when U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement investigators searched his parish rectory and seized his computer. Since then, his ministry has been restricted; he was barred from public ministry and from representing himself as a priest.

The website provided by the Archdiocese on the standards falls under its Office for Child and Youth Protection. It says the guidelines "are intended to provide clear standards of behavior and, in particular, a blueprint for the boundaries of appropriate behavior in all interactions with children and young people."

Archdiocese spokeswoman Donna Farrell said Sunday that she "can't provide any other detail" about what Piñero did.

An ICE spokesman did not immediately return a call or email from the Daily News on Sunday.

In addition to enforcing federal immigration laws, ICE also conducts a range of investigations on offenses including child pornography. But it is not clear whether Piñero's violation was related to that.

The Archdiocese said Piñero's case is unrelated to the February 2011 grand-jury report on clergy sexual abuse.

But it also said in the statement: "We recognize that this public notice may be painful to victims of sexual violence."

It said that anyone who needs victim-services support could contact it at 888-800-8780 or at philavac@adphila.org, and that anyone who wants to report an allegation of sexual abuse can call its Office for Investigations at 800-932-0313 or local police.

Piñero, ordained in 1991, served at Incarnation from 1991 until 1997, then took a personal leave. He then served at St. Joseph in Aston, Delaware County, from 2000 to 2003 before returning to Incarnation from 2003 to 2011.

Contact Julie Shaw at 215-854-2592 or shawj@phillynews.com.

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