A Northeast Philadelphia priest has been placed on administrative leave following an allegation of sexual abuse, according to a statement by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
The Rev. Steven J. Marinucci, 71, who had served as an assistant to the pastor at St. Matthew Roman Catholic Church since 2010, is accused of sexually abusing a minor in the late 1970s.
Marinucci has denied the allegation, which was received by the archdiocese in late January and shared with parishioners during weekend services at St. Matthew, 3000 Cottman Ave. It is the only allegation the archdiocese has received against Marinucci, the statement said.
The matter has been referred to law enforcement, and the archdiocese will also investigate.
Ordained in 1974, Marinucci has served at parishes including St. Bernard (1974 to 1978), St. Bartholomew (1978-83), St. Clement, (2000-01), and St. Agatha/St. James (2001-10), all in Philadelphia, as well as Our Lady of Fatima in Bensalem (1983-85), St. John the Evangelist in Morrisville (1985-90), and St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood (1990-2000). He worked at schools including St. Hubert Catholic High School for Girls (1975-79), and Little Flower Catholic High School for Girls (1980-83), both in Philadelphia.
The allegation was reported less than three weeks after the archdiocese announced that two area priests had been found “not suitable for ministry” following an investigation by church officials of sexual-abuse allegations against them in the early 1980s. The Rev. John F. Meyers had most recently served as interim rector at Malvern Retreat House. The Rev. Raymond W. Smart is retired and has been on leave because of failing health since 1995.
Another priest, Msgr. Joseph L. Logrip, had been placed on administrative leave after a sexual-abuse allegation was made against him for conduct in the early 1980s, the archdiocese also announced at the time. Logrip earlier was cleared of similar allegations that surfaced after a 2011 grand jury report.
In August, Roman Catholic leaders in Pennsylvania were revealed to have covered up decades of child sex abuse involving more than 1,000 victims and hundreds of priests, in a new grand jury report. The U.S. Justice Department has launched its own investigation.