Priest residing at St. Martha’s placed on leave

A priest residing at St. Martha’s parish has been placed on administrative leave based on an allegation he sexually abused a minor more than 40 years ago.

Rev. James Collins, who retired from a Holy Family University faculty position earlier this year and has been residing at St. Martha’s, will remain on leave pending further investigation and is forbidden from practicing public ministry.

The allegation was reviewed and forwarded to law enforcement officials as part of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s “Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People” that formed on the heels of sexual abuse allegations against three priests, a monsignor and a teacher and detailed in a Feburary 11 grand jury report.

St. Martha’s parishioners were informed of Collins’ leave at weekend masses, but Collins did not have formal duties within the parish. The 74-year-old has served at many parishes and schools since being ordained in 1964, including Roman Catholic High School, Saint Paul, Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal, Our Lady of Pompeii, Student Priest at the Pontifical North American College, Rome, Saint Stephen, Cardinal Dougherty High School, Immaculate Conception, Saint Christopher and Holy Family University.

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