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Philadelphia review board never heard accusations against 14 of 21 suspended priests

Catholic World News - March 11, 2011

Among the 21 Philadelphia priests suspended this week because of sex-abuse charges, only 7 had their cases brought to the attention of an independent review board, the head of that panel has disclosed.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia had created the independent board to hear charges of sexual misconduct lodged against priests. But the board did not receive information on 14 of the 21 priests who have now been removed from ministry, reports Ana Maria Catanzaro.

In the 7 cases that did come before the review board, Catanzaro reports, the group found insufficient evidence to pursue disciplinary action. But she says that a former prosecutor, recruited by the archdiocese in February to make a new review of the cases, received additional information.

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  • Posted by: filioque - Mar. 12, 2011 12:25 AM ET USA

    How is it that the Archdiocese does not have a firm grip on all these cases? Whether the priests are guilty or not should be well understood by now, so that a clear response could have been made to the grand jury report or, better, the report would not have been necessary. We continue to get nothing but evasion and muddle, while possibly innocent men are maligned and the guilty walk free. Will our bishops ever come clean and take this matter seriously?

  • Posted by: Sine Nomine - Mar. 11, 2011 8:54 PM ET USA

    I am from Philadelphia. Do not think the Inquirer or Daily News a reliable source. The Review Board never heard the 14 cases because they did not involve sexual abuse. Rather, they involved "boundary issues" defined as perhaps a lewd remark , alcohol consumed in the presence of a minor and even the possibility of a priest hitting a minor. None of these things rises to criminal behavior yet these priests' reputations have been ruined. Philadelphia is in shambles.

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