News
News

Statement Concerning Rev. John F. Meyers

January 14, 2019

Dear Friends in Christ,

I write to share troubling news regarding our former Rector, Father John F. Meyers, who served at Malvern Retreat House/St. Joseph in the Hills (MRH) from June 2017 until October 2018, when he resigned his position. The information below and news release was provided to us by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.

In late 2018, the Archdiocese placed Father Meyers on administrative leave and restricted his priestly faculties following receipt of an allegation that he had sexually abused a minor in the early 1980s. It was the first allegation of this kind lodged against Father Meyers. The allegation was referred to law enforcement and the Archdiocese cooperated with authorities in the course of their work. No criminal charges were filed.

The required canonical investigation of Father Meyers was launched after law enforcement declined to press charges. The Archdiocesan Office of Investigations undertook that canonical process. The results of the canonical investigation were provided to the Archdiocesan Professional Responsibilities Review Board. This board recently recommended to the Archbishop that Father Meyers was unsuitable for ministry based on a substantiated allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

Archbishop Chaput accepted that recommendation and determined that Father Meyers is unsuitable for ministry. His case will now be forwarded to the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith at the Vatican in keeping with procedure for the formal canonical process.

We felt it was important that we inform our Board, staff, and retreatants of this matter and the determination made by the Archbishop regarding Father Meyers’ suitability for ministry.

For your information, included is a link to the news release issued by the Archdiocesan Office for Communications yesterday. It contains further details that you may find helpful, Archdiocese of Philadelphia News Release, January 13, 2019

Please note that anyone can report suspected child abuse to the PA Department of Human Services 24-hour ChildLine at 1-800-932-0312 or by calling their local police department. Suspected abuse or misconduct by an Archdiocesan priest, deacon, employee or volunteer can also be reported to the Archdiocesan Office of investigations at 1-888-930-9010.

Questions regarding the news release should be directed to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Office of Communications at 215-587-3747.

As the oldest and largest lay-owned Catholic Retreat Center, Malvern Retreat House is committed to continue its 107 legacy of providing spiritual renewal and healing for all people who pass through our gates. 

I ask that, in particular, we pray in earnest for all those persons victimized by the horrible wounds of abuse. May God help us to rebuild and renew our Church, and end all acts involving the abuse of power.

Prosit,

Mark J. Poletunow

President

 

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