May 26, 2013
Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap. has placed Reverend James J. Collins on administrative leave following an allegation that he sexually abused a minor over forty years ago. No other allegation of this nature has been received against him. While on administrative leave he is not permitted to exercise his public ministry pending the outcome of the investigation. His leave is not connected to the cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 Grand Jury Report.
Consistent with the Archdiocesan Policy for the Protection of Children and Young People promulgated in October of 2012, the allegation was received and immediately reported to law enforcement. The information was also reviewed by the Office of Investigations, the Office for Child and Youth Protection and the Office of the Vicar for Clergy. Those offices provided a joint recommendation to the Archbishop, who decided to place Father Collins on administrative leave pending any possible action by law enforcement and a full internal investigation. In keeping with standing Archdiocesan policy, that internal investigation will not proceed until after the allegation is reviewed by the district attorney's office.
An announcement regarding Father Collins was made this weekend at Saint Martha Parish in Philadelphia, where he had been residing, and crisis counselors were made available. Although he was in residence there, he had no formal duties at the parish, did not assist at Masses or make visits to the school. The Archdiocese also communicated information about this allegation to Holy Family University where Father Collins had been a faculty member since 1976. He retired from that position earlier this year.
Father Collins is 74 years old. He was ordained in 1964. He served at the following parishes, schools and offices: Saint John the Evangelist, Philadelphia (1964); Roman Catholic High School for Boys (1964-1965); Saint Paul, Philadelphia (1964-1965); Office of the Metropolitan Tribunal (1964-1965); Our Lady of Pompeii, Philadelphia (1965); Student Priest at the Pontifical North American College, Rome (1965-1968); Saint Stephen, Philadelphia (1966); Cardinal Dougherty High School, Philadelphia (1968-1969); Immaculate Conception, Philadelphia (1968-1975); Roman Catholic High School for Boys, Philadelphia (1969-1976); Saint Paul, Philadelphia (1975-1976); Saint Christopher, Philadelphia (1976); Holy Family University (1976-2013); placed on administrative leave (2013).
To Make a Report
To report an allegation of sexual abuse, contact your local law enforcement agency and the Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.
To report a violation of The Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, contact the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010.
We recognize that this public notice may be painful to victims of sexual violence. If you need support or assistance, victim services and referrals are available to you through the Victim Assistance Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kenneth A. Gavin
Director of Communications