The Archdiocese of Philadelphia was notified June 18 by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales that they had just learned of a lawsuit filed in the state of Delaware that contains an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor against Father Gerald Dunne, an Oblate of St. Francis de Sales, who is in residence at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish in Philadelphia. The accuser in the case alleges that Father Dunne sexually abused him as a student at Salesianium High School in Delaware approximately 30 years ago. Father Dunne has denied the allegation against him.
Parishioners at Resurrection of Our Lord Parish were informed of the allegation this past weekend (June 20-21). Staff members from the archdiocesan Victim Assistance Program were present. “We understand that it may be difficult for some parishioners to hear an announcement such as this,” said the director of the Office for Child and Youth Protection Karen Becker. “The counselors are present if anyone wishes to express a concern or ask for assistance.”
Pending an investigation, the Oblates have placed Father Dunne on administrative leave and Cardinal Justin Rigali has withdrawn Father Dunne’s faculties to exercise priestly ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. Father Dunne has left the parish and will be living at an Oblate residence outside of the Archdiocese.
Father Dunne has also served on the faculty of Northeast Catholic High School (1987-1994) and Father Judge High School (1994 to present).
In accord with archdiocesan policy, Father Dunne had completed the screening procedures of the Archdiocese, including the appropriate police and child abuse background checks. He had received a positive recommendation and clearance from the Oblates and had completed their accredited screening process. The Archdiocese has never before received any allegation against him.
The Archdiocese of Philadelphia recognizes that this public notice may be painful to those who have been abused. Anyone needing assistance may contact the Victim Assistance Program for the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: