The Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown announced over the weekend that two priests have been removed from ministry after a diocesan review board found allegations of sexual abuse of minors to be credible. Both served parishes in Schuylkill and Carbon counties over the past 30 years.
The announcement of the action was made by The Most Rev. John O. Barres, Bishop of Allentown. Barres announced the removal of the Rev. Andrew A. Ulincy, 74, at a 4 p.m. Saturday Mass at St. Paul Church, Reading, where he had been pastor since 1997.
The removal of Monsignor Bernard Flanagan, 54, was announced at the 8:30 a.m. Sunday Mass by Barres. Flanagan was serving since 2006 as pastor at Annunciation BVM, St. George and Our Lady of Mount Carmel churches, Shenandoah, and St. Mary Magdalen Church, Lost Creek.
According to diocese spokesman Matt Kerr, the alleged events of abuse did not occur in Schuylkill or Carbon counties.
The allegations against Flanagan date back about 25 years while those against Ulincy are from 1981.
Kerr said the abuse Flanagan allegedly committed occurred while he served as a priest at Reading Central Catholic High School. The abuse allegations against Ulincy allegedly occurred while he was a priest at Ss. Simon and Jude Church, Bethlehem.
The allegations have been reported to the "appropriate authorities" Kerr said. He added that both Flanagan and Ulincy will go to a treatment facility outside the diocese. Neither are permitted to publicly function as a priest.
Flanagan, who was ordained in 1982, was in residence at St. Mary Church, Saint Clair, and also at St. Paul Church, Reading, and St. Catharine of Siena Church, Allentown, during his training. He served as priest at Nativity BVM High School, Pottsville; Mary Queen of Peace Church, Pottsville; St. Jerome Church, Tamaqua; Ss. Peter and Paul Church, Lehighton; St. Ann Church, Bethlehem; and Our Lady of Help of Christians Church, Allentown.
Ulincy, who was ordained in 1966, was priest at Marian High School, Hometown; Assumption BVM Church, Mahanoy City; St. Joseph Church, Frackville; St. Joseph Church, Jim Thorpe; St. Michael Church, Lansford; and Holy Rosary Church, Reading.
Kerr said he did not know how long the review process has been going on but that the removal recommendation from the review board came down this week.