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December 19, 2006


In September of 2005 the Archdiocese of Philadelphia restricted the ministry of Reverend John J. Mulholland following the intense public scrutiny upon his ministry. Father Mulholland was instructed to refrain from any public exercise of his priestly ministry. He did not celebrate or concelebrate Mass publicly, or administer any of the Sacraments. In October 2005, shortly after Father Mulholland’s removal from ministry, the Archdiocese received an allegation dating back to the mid- 1970’s that Father Mulholland had sexually abused a minor. Upon receipt of this allegation, the Archdiocese immediately reported it to the civil authorities.

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 a preliminary investigation of this allegation was conducted. At the conclusion of the preliminary investigation, Cardinal Rigali 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, Cardinal Rigali has decided that Father Mulholland will not be restored to ministry in the Archdiocese. In accord with Canon Law, the case must now be referred to the Holy See.

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia recognizes 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 of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780.

Father Mulholland was ordained in 1965. Since that time he has served in the following parishes/ministries: Saint Patrick, Kennett Square; Saint Joseph, Warrington; Saint Anastasia, Newtown Square; Blessed Virgin Mary, Darby; Holy Child, Philadelphia; Stella Maris, Philadelphia; St. Francis of Assisi, Norristown; Immaculate Conception, Levittown and Immaculate Mary Home, Philadelphia.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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