Priest accused of child abuse placed on leave, archdiocese says

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A 74-year-old priest, who recently retired as Holy Family University faculty member, was placed on administrative leave amid accusations that he sexually abused a child more than 40 years ago, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia announced in a statement Sunday.

Rev. James J. Collins, who worked at the Northeast Philadelphia college since 1976, retired as a faculty member earlier this year.

While other media outlets have reported that Collins is still listed as a professor on the college’s website, a listing of employees that was previously available had been taken down.

“While on administrative leave, he is not permitted to exercise his public ministry pending the outcome of the investigation,” according to the archdiocese statement. “His leave is not connected to the cases of priests placed on administrative leave following the February 2011 grand jury report.”

About 40 years ago, Collins was a faculty member at Roman Catholic High School for Boys, according to biographical information provided by the archdiocese.

Since he was ordained in 1964, Collins worked at six other Philadelphia parishes including Saint Paul, Immaculate Conception, Our Lady of Pompeii, Saint Stephen and Cardinal Dougherty.

St. Martha parish in Philadelphia, where Collins was living, was made aware of the allegations made against the priest. Holy Family was informed as well, the statement said.

“No other allegation of this nature has been received against him,” according to the statement.


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