It was reported Friday afternoon that former St. Vincent de Paul parish Parochial Vicar Reverend George Cadwallader was one of five Philadelphia-area priest removed from ministry after a ”thorough and complex” investigation into reports of sexual abuse of minors by clergy and violations of the church's Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries.
Cadwallader was identified as one of the clergymen removed by a Philly.com report.
Details on Cadwallader’s removal and the allegations mounted against him will not be released by the archdiocese as to protect the victims, Archbishop Charles Chaput said during a press conference streamed on the church’s website. It is unclear if any misbehavior occurred during his time at the Hatboro Road parish or during his previous assignment at Queen of the Universe parish in nearby Middletown.
According to Chaput, the archdiocese forwarded all reports of misconduct by clergy over to local district attorneys. As of press time, Patch has not been able to get in contact with the Bucks County DA’s office for comment on Cadwallader.
Cadwallader was removed from service at St. Vincent de Paul in March of 2011 after he was named in a grand jury report along with 27 other priest.
Friday, the fates of eight clergy - three return to duty and five were removed from ministry - were determined and the investigation into the others, except one who passed away, continues.
“I reviewed each case personally and made a decision on every one of them,” Chaput said.
The five removed from the archdiocese can appeal their decision to a review board in Rome.
The diocese’s multidisciplinary team was lead by veteran child abuse prosecutor Gina Maisto Smith.
Over the course of the investigation into allegations of misconduct, over 225 witnesses from around the globe, 400,000 pages of documents and nearly 40 years of information was located, gathered and reviewed by investigators, Smith told reporters.
Chaput stated, “...dealing with sexual abuse and protecting children has been - and will remain - a top priority for me and for this Archdiocese.”
Starting this weekend, the church will begin a new program titled “Honesty, Healing and Hope in Christ: Confronting Sexual Violence in Our Archdiocese” that is set to provide provide support and assistance to parishioners, Catholic officials said.