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July 3, 2006


In October of 2005, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received an allegation that Father John F. Hummell, currently Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Oxford, Chester County, had sexually abused a minor approximately thirty years ago in the mid1970's when Father Hummell was a teacher at Roman Catholic High School in Philadelphia. Upon receipt of this allegation, the Archdiocese immediately reported it to the civil authorities. This is the only allegation of sexual abuse of a minor the Archdiocese has received regarding Father Hummel. Throughout this entire investigation Father Hummel has denied the allegation.

As called for in The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People which was approved by the U.S. Bishops in 2002, Cardinal Rigali sought the consultation of the Archdiocesan Review Board and conducted a preliminary investigation of this allegation. Because the process of clearly understanding the details of this situation was particularly complex, because the actions by Father Hummell are alleged to have occurred so many years ago, and because Father Hummell has denied the veracity of the allegations, the preliminary investigation has taken a number of months and was just completed. Cardinal Rigali concluded the preliminary investigation this past week and accepted the Review Board=s determination that there was sufficient information to substantiate an allegation of sexual abuse as defined by the Charter.

As a result of this finding, Father Hummell has been directed to step aside from his ministry as Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish effective immediately and he has left the parish. During this time, Father Hummell will not be able to function as a priest anywhere. Cardinal Rigali must now inform the Holy See and request authorization to begin a formal process under Canon Law.

An announcement regarding Father Hummell was made to parishioners of Sacred Heart Parish in Oxford this past weekend. Counselors were available after Masses. For the present time, Cardinal Rigali has appointed Father David E. Diamond as Parochial Administrator of Sacred Heart Parish. Father Diamond is Academic Dean of Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood; he presently assists at Sacred Heart Parish on weekends.

We recognize that this announcement may be painful to anyone who has experienced sexual abuse in their life. If someone needs assistance or wishes to talk about this situation please contact the Victim Assistance Program for the Archdiocese at

Father Hummell was ordained in 1965. Since that time he has served in the following parishes/schools: Saint Cecilia, Coatesville; Saints Simon & Jude, West Chester; Corpus Christi, Philadelphia; Roman Catholic High School, Philadelphia; Bishop McDevitt High School, Wyncote; Saint Gabriel, Norwood; Saint Callistus, Philadelphia; Saint Dominic, Philadelphia and at Saint Joseph's University as an adjunct faculty member in the physics department. While in the education apostolate Father Hummell lived at the following parishes: Saint Aloysius, Philadelphia; Saint Joseph, Cheltenham; Epiphany of Our Lord, Philadelphia; Saint Joseph, Ambler; Seven Dolors, Wyndmoor and Saint John of the Cross, Roslyn.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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