After a review by its own Office of Investigations after police declined to press charges, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia has found the Rev. Christopher D. Lucas, the campus minister at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School, unsuitable for ministry after an alleged sexual abuse of a minor in 1974.
Lucas was 17 years old at the time the alleged abuse occurred, and it was before he began studying for the priesthood, according to a statement by the archdiocese, which manages more than 200 churches in the Philadelphia area.
It was the first offense alleged against Lucas, who was ordained a priest of the Conventual Franciscan Friars in 1985, and switched to become one of more than 500 priests directly attached to the archdiocese in 2002.
The archdiocese received the allegation in fall of 2018. The accusation “was referred to law enforcement on the same day it was received,” the statement said, noting that the archdiocese has cooperated with authorities. The church’s investigation, headed by a former city prosecutor, began “after law enforcement declined to press charges.”
The church’s investigation “substantiated” the allegations that Lucas had sexually abused a fellow minor back in 1974. Archbishop Charles Chaput accepted the recommendation of the board overseeing investigations and declared Lucas unsuitable.
An archdiocesan spokesman did not immediately return a call seeking comment. A message left at Lucas’ residence at St. John the Baptist rectory was not immediately returned.
Since becoming a priest, Lucas served in seven different parishes in Philadelphia or near the high schools where he was assigned. Before serving at Hallahan starting in 2005, Lucas served for shorter periods at St. Hubert and Bishop Shanahan High Schools. From 2010-13 he served at Conwell-Egan before returning to Hallahan.