Archdiocese of Philadelphia axes priest for sex abuse claim from before he was ordained

Tim Jimenez
September 16, 2019 - 12:51 pm
Cathedral Basilica of Saints Peter and Paul

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PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — A priest has been deemed "unsuitable for ministry" after being accused of sexually abusing a minor in the early '70s — before he became a priest.

According to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, the alleged abuse by Rev. Christopher Lucas happened 45 years ago, long before he even started the process of becoming a priest — and when he was a minor himself. 

Church officials say they found out about the allegation last fall and reported it to police the same day. No criminal charges were filed, but an investigation by the archdiocese found the allegation to be valid, and it determined Lucas is "unsuitable for ministry." 

The now 63-year-old Lucas was ordained in 1985, and he's made more than a dozen stops at parishes and schools within the archdiocese, including Bishop Shanahan High School in Downingtown and Saints Philip and James Parish in Exton.

Lucas held two positions at both John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls' High School and Saint John the Baptist Parish in Manayunk, from about 2005 to 2010. He joined the staff again at both schools in 2013, where he most recently worked as Hallahan's campus minister. 

He was placed on administrative leave and restricted of priestly faculties this year. 

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This was the only allegation against Lucas, according to the archdiocese. 

Church officials say anyone looking to report abuse or anything criminal should call the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and police.