Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams is charging 75-year-old Rev. Robert Brennan with rape, involuntary deviate sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault.
“Rev. Brennan is charged with sexually assaulting an altar boy at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Northeast Philadelphia between 1998 and 2001,” Williams said. “The assaults started when the boy was 11 years of age and continued until he was 14 years old.”
Brennan was assistant pastor of the church at the time of the alleged assaults. Williams says his team began investigating the case after receiving information from the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
“The victim reported Brennan’s abuse to the Archdiocese in 2013, the Archdiocese immediately — I mean that same day — contacted the District Attorney’s office to share that report,” he said.
Williams praised the victim for coming forward.
“A serial predator is now behind bars, thanks to the brave actions of this young man,” he said. “It takes tremendous courage for any sexual assault victim, especially young boys, to come forward and report the horrors that one endured. The Archdiocese is to be commended for immediately reporting this case to our office.”
Brennan was arrested in Maryland. He was mentioned in a 2005 grand jury review of the Archdiocese, and removed from active ministry then. The Archdiocese says it has begun the process of trying to defrock him.
SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, issued a statement taking issue with Williams.
“We are disappointed that Catholic officials are being praised for simply, finally, obeying the law,” it read.
The Archdioces says Brennan worked at the following parishes in the area before being removed from ministry:
Saint Pius X, Broomall (1964-1970); Our Lady of Calvary, Philadelphia (1970-1974); Stella Maris, Philadelphia (1974-1981); Saint George, Glenolden (1981-1986); Chaplain, Archbishop Prendergast High School, Drexel Hill (1986); Saint Helena, Philadelphia (1986-1988); Saint Ignatius of Antioch, Yardley (1988-1989); Saint Eleanor, Collegeville (1989); Saint Mary Schwenksville (1989-1992); Leave of Absence (1992-1993); Resurrection of Our Lord (1993-2004); Chaplain, Camilla Hall (2004-2005).