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August 28, 2006

UPDATE REGARDING ALLEGATION OF ABUSE AGAINST
REVEREND JAMES J. BRENNAN

In January 2006, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia received an allegation that Reverend James J. Brennan sexually abused a minor approximately eight years ago. Upon receipt of this allegation, the Archdiocese immediately reported it to civil authorities and Cardinal Rigali relieved Father Brennan of his assignment as Parochial Vicar of Assumption Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Feasterville, Bucks County, pending investigation. This is the only allegation of sexual abuse of a minor the Archdiocese has ever received regarding Father Brennan.

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. Cardinal Rigali has concluded the preliminary investigation and accepted the Review Board=s determination that there was sufficient information to substantiate an allegation of sexual abuse as defined by the Charter.

Cardinal Rigali will now refer the matter to the Holy See in accord with the Bishops' Charter and applicable Church norms. During this time, Father Brennan will not be able to function as a priest anywhere.

An announcement regarding Father Brennan was made to parishioners of Assumption B.V.M. Parish this past weekend. Counselors were available after Masses. The Archdiocese recognizes that this announcement may be painful to anyone who has experienced sexual abuse in his or her life. If someone needs assistance or wishes to talk about this situation please contact the Victim Assistance Program for the Archdiocese at 1-888-800-8780.

Father Brennan was ordained in 1989. Since that time he has served in the following parishes/schools: Saint Andrew, Newtown; Saint Jerome, Philadelphia; Mepkin Abbey, South Carolina and Cardinal O'Hara High School, Springfield. While in the education apostolate, Father Brennan lived at Saint Mary Magdalen Parish, Media and Divine Providence Village, Springfield.

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Contact
Donna Farrell
Director of Communications
215-587-3747

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