Two more Phila. Archdiocese priests deemed 'unsuitable'

Posted: February 25, 2014

WHEN THE REV. John P. Paul resigned as pastor of Our Lady of Calvary Parish in November, the 67-year-old priest told his congregation that he was considering a serious road trip for "renewal" purposes.

"If possible, I would like to study spirituality at Bellarmine University, in Louisville, KY . . . make a retreat in Assisi, Italy, and work with Fr. Mike in Malawi, Africa," Paul wrote in the church bulletin.

He might have more time on his hands than he'd first anticipated.

Yesterday, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced that Archbishop Charles Chaput has found Paul unsuitable for ministry because of at least one substantiated allegation that he sexually abused a 17-year-old more than 40 years ago.

The Rev. James J. Collins also was deemed unsuitable for ministry based on a similar substantiated allegation. Collins, 75, a faculty member at Holy Family University from 1976 until last year, was placed on administrative leave in May.

Paul, the pastor of Our Lady of Calvary in Northeast Philadelphia since 2000, had been placed on administrative leave in December after "multiple, new allegations" of sexual abuse surfaced following his resignation, the Archdiocese said. He had been allowed to keep working at Our Lady of Calvary while being investigated for an abuse allegation leveled early last year, but was prohibited from having unsupervised contact with minors.

The Archdiocese did not disclose other details about the sexual abuse yesterday. Neither priest could be reached for comment.

Paul and Collins have the right to appeal Chaput's decision to the Vatican. Otherwise, they could be defrocked - laicized, in church terminology - or choose a "life of prayer and penance" at Villa St. Joseph, a home for retired priests in Darby Borough, Delaware County.


On Twitter: @wbender99

Blog: ph.ly/DailyDelco

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