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Priest

NEWS
December 16, 2013 | By Jeremy Roebuck, Inquirer Staff Writer
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput has permanently removed five parish priests from ministry over allegations of sexual abuse or misconduct, including one priest who had previously been investigated and returned to duty last year. An archdiocesan review board had cleared the Rev. Michael A. Chapman in May 2012 of an abuse allegation involving a minor. But within months, a new accuser came forward with allegations dating back 30 years. In a statement expected to be released in parishes across the region Sunday, the archdiocese said the board substantiated new abuse accusations against Chapman and deemed him "unsuitable for ministry.
NEWS
November 15, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
THE FAMILY of the man who died of a drug overdose last month just before testifying in court against the Catholic priest he accused of sexually molesting him filed a wrongful-death lawsuit yesterday against the priest and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. The civil suit filed in Common Pleas Court by the family of Sean Patrick McIlmail alleges that the church failed to remove Father Robert L. Brennan from having contact with children even after officials learned he had behaved inappropriately with numerous boys.
NEWS
October 31, 2013 | By Karen Heller, Inquirer Columnist
Calvin Coleman spent part of his 75th birthday Sunday protesting the skeleton in George Vucelich's yard in Delaware County. The cake and scallops dinner would have to wait. The skeleton hangs from a maple tree. A noose appears to be around its scrawny plastic neck. It also wears an Obama-Biden T-shirt. "When I first heard of this, I was irate. I believed something like this wouldn't happen in Swarthmore," said Coleman, who is African American and whose family has resided in Delaware County for six generations.
NEWS
October 25, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
CALLING THE recently deceased man who alleged he had been sexually abused by a former Philadelphia Catholic priest a "champion" for victims of child sexual abuse, District Attorney Seth Williams yesterday said he had no choice but to drop criminal charges against the ex-priest. With the Oct. 13 drug-overdose death of Sean Patrick McIlmail, 26, there "was not enough independent evidence - circumstantial or direct - to continue with the successful prosecution of Father Robert Brennan," Williams said at an afternoon news conference.
NEWS
October 25, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Sean Patrick McIlmail kept his secret for 12 years as it chewed away at him and as his close-knit family watched him descend into mental illness and drug abuse. On Wednesday - four days after they buried the 26-year-old - his parents, brother, and sister decided the time for secrets was over. In an interview at their lawyer's Bucks County home, McIlmail's parents, older brother, and younger sister confirmed it was Sean who accused former Philadelphia Catholic priest Robert L. Brennan of sexually molesting him over four years beginning when he was an 11-year-old altar boy. Sean's death was still painfully fresh for the McIlmails.
NEWS
October 19, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA Two Philadelphia grand juries have described the Rev. Robert L. Brennan as a serial sexual predator who molested more than a score of boys over 15 years as he was transferred from one Catholic parish to another. But until last month, after a 26-year-old former Northeast Philadelphia altar boy agreed to press charges, all the allegations against the 75-year-old Brennan were too old to prosecute. Now, the complaining witness has died of an accidental drug overdose, putting the first criminal case against Brennan in jeopardy.
NEWS
October 18, 2013 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE CASE against a former Philadelphia priest accused of sexually abusing an altar boy at a Northeast Philadelphia parish is now uncertain after the alleged victim died over the weekend. Rev. Robert L. Brennan, 75, was arrested last month and charged with rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, and aggravated sexual assault, for abuse that allegedly took place at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish between 1998 and 2001, starting when the boy was 11 years old. District Attorney Seth Williams announced the victim's death in a statement yesterday.
NEWS
October 5, 2013 | By Walter F. Naedele, Inquirer Staff Writer
The Rev. Joan R. Watson, 77, formerly of Medford, an Episcopal priest, died of metastatic melanoma Wednesday, Sept. 25, at her daughter's home in Alpharetta, Ga. Rev. Watson was rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Pemberton for more than 20 years until she retired in 2006. Born in Runnemede, Rev. Watson graduated from Audubon High School in 1953 and earned a bachelor's degree in business and social work. She then earned a master's in social work at the University of Pennsylvania and a master's of divinity at the General Theological Seminary in New York, daughter Sue Hamilton said.
NEWS
September 28, 2013 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
PHILADELPHIA The Rev. Robert L. Brennan's name loomed large in the "Secret Archives," the guarded personnel files of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Brennan also figured prominently in Philadelphia grand jury reports in 2005 and 2011. In last year's trial of a church official for covering up clergy sex abuse, witnesses detailed allegations that Brennan sexually abused about 20 boys while being transferred from parish to parish over a span of 15 years. Brennan, however, was never charged because the allegations happened too far back to be prosecuted.
NEWS
September 27, 2013 | BY MENSAH M. DEAN, Daily News Staff Writer deanm@phillynews.com, 215-568-8278
A FORMER Philadelphia Catholic priest has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy, the Philadelphia district attorney announced yesterday. The Rev. Robert L. Brennan, 75, was arrested Wednesday night in Maryland and charged with rape and related crimes for allegedly abusing the boy from 1998 to 2001, when he was 11 to 14 years old. Brennan, who was in his early 60s at the time of the alleged assault, was an assistant pastor at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish, in the Northeast.
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