The Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which has placed 24 priests on administrative leave in the past two months because of allegations of sexual misconduct involving minors, announced yesterday that it has taken similar action against two retired priests.
The actions come in response to a February report by a Philadelphia grand jury that said that 37 priests still were ministering to parishioners despite accusations of sexual abuse or improper behavior with minors.
Cardinal Justin Rigali has said that these steps are interim measures and not final determinations or judgments. Both of the priests who were placed on leave yesterday live in private residences, the Archdiocese said.
One, who retired in 2005, is not involved in any public ministry and the other, who retired in 2006, has assisted in parishes in another diocese, it said.
Archdiocesan spokeswoman Donna Farrell said that the names of the two priests were not being released pending outcome of the investigation.
A source familiar with the abuse cases confirmed that one is the Rev. David Givey, who served as editor of the Catholic Standard and Times from 1984 to 1991. The identity of the other could not be determined.
The leaves were based on recommendations by Gina Maisto Smith, a former child-abuse prosecutor with the Philadelphia D.A.'s office who is conducting an internal review of such cases, the archdiocese said.
Smith and a team of experts - including a pediatrician with experience in the field of child abuse, a forensic psychiatrist and a psychologist who is an expert from the child-advocacy community - will continue a more thorough investigation of the two, the Archdiocese said.
A leader of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, called Rigali's refusal to name the two priests "arrogant."
"Imagine a chemical company CEO announcing, 'Today we've determined that there are two more potentially toxic dump sites where your kids might be seriously hurt but we're not telling you where they are,' " said Joelle Casteix, western regional director of SNAP.