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Archdiocese: 2 Priests Found Unsuitable For Ministry

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PHILADELPHIA -

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced on Sunday that two priests who were placed on administrative leave are unsuitable for ministry.

The decision was made by Archbishop Charles Chaput due to what the archdiocese described as "substantiated violations of 'The Standards of Ministerial Behaviors and Boundaries.'"

According to the archdiocese, Father Joseph Gallagher and Father Mark Gaspar will not have public ministry in the archdiocese. The two fathers do have the right to appeal the decision to the Holy See, the archdiocese said.

The two priests were placed on administrative leave in March 2011 following a February grand jury report that alleged child abuse. The announcements were made at the parishes the priests last served Sunday.

The archdiocese says the results of the investigation were provided to its review board, which then provided a recommendation to Archbishop Chaput.

"As I've done in the past, I relied closely on the Professional Responsibility Review Board and the Multi-Disciplinary Team during this process," Archbishop Chaput said in a statement.

"After reviewing all the facts, as well as recommendations from competent external authorities, I made the decisions I feel are right and just," the statement continued.

The archdiocese also announced Sunday that Monsignor Richard Powers, who is retired, was found not suitable for ministry following allegations of sexual abuse of a minor 40 years ago outside of the archdiocese. The archdiocese says the decision is not directly connected to the priests placed on administrative leave after the grand jury report.

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