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Removed from ministry in Ohio, priest charged with abuse in Canada

Catholic World News - August 09, 2010

An Ohio priest whose alleged abuse of a teenage boy led to his removal from ministry in the Diocese of Columbus has been charged with sexual assault, sexual exploitation, and sexual interference in Canada, where he subsequently ministered.

Ordained in 1975, Father Phillip Jacobs ministered in parishes and taught philosophy at the Pontifical College Josephinum until 1993, when Bishop James Griffin removed him from ministry. Eventually, the diocese received ten credible abuse allegations against Father Phillips, according to the diocese’s current vice chancellor.

Father Jacobs was then permitted to minister in the western Canadian Diocese of Victoria. Two psychiatric evaluations-- one conducted by the British Columbia Ministry of Children and Family Development-- judged that the priest was not at risk of committing abuse again. “[Bishop Raymond] Roussin said the diocese had arranged for Jacobs to be monitored by two senior priests and two lay members of the church,” according to a local media report. “Jacobs was also required to see a psychiatrist regularly and was not to be alone with individual children or small groups of youths.”

“Numerous” persons have come forward alleging they were abused by Father Jacobs in Canada, according to a police spokesman. He resigned in 2002 after news of the allegations in Ohio became public in Canada.

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