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January 30, 2004

STATEMENT
by
Catherine L. Rossi, Director of Communications

Concerning Civil Lawsuits Filed January 30, 2004 Regarding Allegations of Sexual Abuse

The Archdiocese learned this afternoon that lawsuits were filed in the Court of Common Pleas in Philadelphia concerning three priests. The Archdiocese has not had the opportunity to review these lawsuits. However, it is important to note that two of the priests named, Reverend Gerard Chambers and Reverend Joseph P. Gausch, are deceased. A third, Reverend Richard Jones, has not been in active ministry for many years.

The Archdiocese remains committed to dealing with any allegations of abuse and has increased its vigilance to prevent abuse from occurring in the future. We continue to offer assistance and counseling to any one who believes they are a victim of abuse by church personnel. It is deeply troubling when anyone, especially a child, is abused in any way. As part of The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People adopted by the United States Catholic Bishops in June 2002, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has comprehensive policies and programs in place to deal with victims of abuse in the past and prevention of abuse in the future.

Anyone who wishes to make a report of sexual abuse of a minor may call the Victims Assistance Coordinators at 215-587-3880.



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Contact
Catherine L. Rossi
Director of Communications
215-587-3747

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