Five priests found unsuitable for ministry in Philly diocese’s abuse inquiry

    Five Philadelphia-area priests have been found unsuitable for ministry following an inquiry by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia into various abuse claims against two dozen priests.

    Archbishop Charles Chaput commented on only eight cases during a Friday afternoon press conference.

    Revs. George Cadwallader, Robert Povish, John Reardon and Thomas Rooney, and Msgr. Francis Feret have been found unsuitable for ministry. Revs. Philip Bar and Michael Chapman, and Msgr. Michael Flood have been found suitable.

    Chaput said he personally reviewed every case and met with the eight priests whose fates have been revealed.

    Seventeen other cases have been investigated, but Chaput and others with the diocese have not released those findings and declined to comment on those cases Friday.

    “The task of investigating past allegations of sexual misconduct is complex and time-consuming,” Chaput said. “It cannot be hurried or abbreviated without violating the whole purpose of the review. I should also mention that we’ve been very limited in what we can say about these cases because of current legal proceedings and the gag order put in place to protect those proceedings.”

    About two dozen priests were suspended last year shortly after a grand jury report sparked sexual abuse trials against three priests and a parochial teacher.

    WHYY/NewsWorks’ Elizabeth Fiedler will have more details as the story develops.

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