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August 10, 2007


In September of 2005 the Archdiocese of Philadelphia removed Reverend Robert L. Brennan from his assignment instructing him to refrain from any public exercise of his priestly ministry. In spring 2006, after Father Brennan's removal from ministry, the Archdiocese received an allegation that Father Brennan had sexually abused a minor in the late 1960's/early 1970's. Consistent with Archdiocesan policy, the allegation was immediately reported 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.

Restrictions have been placed upon Father Brennan's ministry in accord with Canon Law. During this time, Father Brennan is not able to function as a priest anywhere. He cannot celebrate Mass publicly or administer the Sacraments. He may not wear clerical clothes or present himself publicly as a priest. Cardinal Rigali must now inform the Holy See and request authorization to begin a formal process under Canon Law. Father Brennan has denied the allegation, however the restrictions upon his ministry will remain in place pending further action.

Father Robert L. Brennan was ordained in 1964. Since that time he has served in the following parishes/ministries: Saint Pius X, Broomall; Our Lady of Calvary, Philadelphia; Stella Maris, Philadelphia; Saint George, Glenolden; Saint Helena, Philadelphia; Saint Ignatius, Yardley; Saint Eleanor, Collegeville; Saint Mary, Schwenksville; Resurrection of Our Lord, Philadelphia; Camilla Hall, Immaculata; CYO Region 13 Mid-Delaware County and Archbishop Prendergast High School, Drexel Hill.

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 please contact the Victim Assistance Program for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780.


Donna Farrell
Director of Communications

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