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5 Philadelphia Priests Removed In Catholic Church Sex Scandal, One Placed On Leave

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Rev. John P. Paul was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse
Rev. John P. Paul was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation into allegations of sexual abuse

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced Sunday that it was removing five priests as the result of an investigation into alleged child sex abuse.

Rev. Michael A. Chapman, Rev. Mark E. Fernandes, Rev. Joseph M. Glatts, Rev. Stephen B. Perzan, and Rev. Peter J. Talocci, were found "unsuitable to return to the church" following an investigation into sexual abuse and misconduct brought on by a February 2011 grand jury report.

Fernandes and Glatts were accused of violating church standards, but not sexual misconduct. Two other priests were cleared of allegations.

Even as the archdiocese reached a final decision on those five accused priests, a former pastor at a North Philadelphia church became embroiled in allegations of child sex abuse. NBC Philadelphia reports that Reverend John P. Paul, 67, is now on administrative leave pending investigation of allegations that he sexually abused minors more than 40 years ago.

Paul resigned in November following a police investigation in to his alleged abuse of minors when he was a seminarian. However, the archdiocese learned of additional accusations against Paul following his resignation.

According to Reuters, the allegations against the five priests grew from a 2011 Philadelphia grand jury report that culminated with the jailing of Monsignor William Lynn, the highest-ranking U.S. Catholic Church official convicted in a child sex abuse scandal.

Earlier this month, Pope Francis agreed to appoint a "commission for the protection of minors" to address alleged and proven cases of sex abuse by Catholic priests.

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