Father Michael Chapman, 56, pastor of Ascension of Our Lord Parish in Philadelphia, has been placed on administrative leave by Archbishop Charles J. Chaput following allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
The priest was suspended in March 2011 for an alleged violation of the Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s guidelines for conduct by all church personnel.
After a probe of the allegation by a team of investigators and evaluation by the Archdiocesan Review Board, Archbishop Chaput found Father Chapman suitable for ministry in May 2012 (background).
The archdiocesan Office for Child and Youth Protection, as part of the Honesty, Healing and Hope in Christ parish restoration initiative, consequently began working with Ascension Parish to prepare for Father Chapman’s return to ministry. Before he returned, the Archdiocese received allegations of sexual abuse of minors against Father Chapman in May 2012.
The abuse reportedly occurred approximately 30 years ago. The Archdiocese immediately reported the new allegations to law enforcement and delayed Father Chapman’s return to the parish. Since the time the allegations were received, Father Chapman has not been exercising his ministry publicly or residing at an archdiocesan parish.
After an initial investigation by the archdiocesan Office for Investigations, the Archbishop placed Father Chapman on administrative leave.
An announcement was made at Ascension of Our Lord Parish last weekend and counselors were available.
Father Chapman was ordained in 1982. He served at the following parishes, schools and offices: St. Bonaventure, Philadelphia (1982-1986); Little Flower High School (1983-1985); St. Agnes, West Chester (1986-1990); St. Henry, Philadelphia (1990-1991); Priest Vocation Coordinator for the Hispanic Apostolate (1990-1994); Hispanic Ministry Coordinator for Montgomery County (1991-1992); St. Veronica, Philadelphia (1994-1999); Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul (1999-2001); Ascension of Our Lord, Philadelphia (2001-2011); placed on administrative leave (2011).
People wishing to report a violation of Standards of Ministerial Behavior and Boundaries should contact the archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 1-888-930-9010. Those who wish to report an allegation of sexual abuse should contact local law enforcement agency and/or the Office for Investigations.
Victims of sexual violence who need support or assistance may call the Victim Assistance Office of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia at 1-888-800-8780 or email@example.com.
Help us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. 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: