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Philadelphia Priests Removed From Service For Sexual Abuse

4/8/2013 11:01 AM ET

Three Philadelphia priests have been placed on administrative leave by Charles J. Chaput, Archbishop of Philadelphia, over claims of sexual abuse, according to a report from Philly.com. The latest suspensions come in addition to the dozen priests suspended in 2011.

Only two of the three priests—Fathers Joseph Gallagher and Mark Gasper—were active, while the third, Monsignor Richard T. Powers, is retired. Gallagher and Gasper have been prohibited from holding public ministry, wearing clerical attire or identifying themselves as priests.

"As I've done in the past, I relied closely on the Professional Responsibility Review Board and the Multi-Disciplinary Team during this process," Archbishop Chaput said in a statement.

He added, "After reviewing all the facts, as well as recommendations from competent external authorities, I made the decisions I feel are right and just."

The claims of sexual abuse included one from an accuser who killed himself in 2009. Families of the accusers applauded the suspensions while noting that they ought to have come much sooner.

by RTT Staff Writer

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