Phila. Archdiocese puts priest on administrative leave


Phila. Archdiocese puts priest on administrative leave

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has placed a Bucks County priest on administrative leave while it reviews allegations against him.

The archdiocese said Sunday it had placed the Rev. Louis J. Kolenkiewicz, 47, on leave, “in an abundance of caution.”

Archbishop Charles J. Chaput took the action in response to new information stemming from allegations that were investigated twice before, in 2005 and 2011.

The archdiocese did not disclose details of the allegations but said Kolenkiewicz was alleged to have violated ministry standards regarding the boundaries of appropriate behavior for interacting with children and young people.

The allegations did not involve illegal or inappropriate contact with a minor, the archdiocese said in a statement.

Kolenkiewicz was on administrative leave from 2011 to 2014 while the earlier allegations were reviewed.

He could not be reached for comment Sunday.

David Clohessy, director of SNAP, a national advocacy group for victims of clergy sex abuse, says it can take numerous people to provide information before meaningful change occurs.

“Oftentimes, the priests who are reinstated tend to be very politically connected both inside and outside the church,” he said in an interview Sunday.

“It’s crucial that every single person with information or suspicions come forward, “he said. “Only vigilance protects kids.”

Kolenkiewicz was most recently assigned to St. Bede the Venerable Parish in Holland, Bucks County. The archdiocese said the allegations were unrelated to that assignment, but counselors there were made available.

In 2011, a Philadelphia grand jury found that 37 active priests in the archdiocese were accused or suspected of inappropriate behavior with children.

The report led to a review of personnel files by the archdiocese. One month after the report, 21 priests were put on administrative leave. In September of that year, Kolenkiewicz was also placed on administrative leave.

No criminal charges were brought against Kolenkiewicz after reviews of the allegations by law enforcement in 2005 and 2011. He was reinstated to ministry in June 2014 based on a recommendation by an archdiocesan advisory committee on child sexual abuse.

Since being ordained in 1993, Kolenkiewicz has served in six parishes, including St. John Bosco in Hatboro and St. Ignatius in Yardley.

To report allegations of inappropriate behavior with children, contact the Archdiocesan Office for Investigations at 888-930-9010.

Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/local/20150216_Phila__Archdiocese_puts_priest_on_administrative_leave.html#IjdShiAI3SGm6xpg.99

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