Two priests among those indicted for abuse in Philly
Two men who formerly served as priests in Delaware County were among three suspects named today by Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams in the sexual assault of children in a northeast Philadelphia Roman Catholic parish as a result of a grand jury investigation.
The grand jury accused the Rev. James J. Brennan, 47, who was on the faculty of Cardinal O’Hara High School in Marple from 1991 to 1996, of assaulting a 14-year-old boy at St. Jerome’s parish in Philadelphia in 1996. He surrendered to authorities this morning according to Tasha Jamerson, director of communications for the Philadelphia District Attorney. Brennan had been on leave of absence and restricted from performing priestly duties since Jan. 16, 2006 according to officials in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Edward V. Avery, 68, who was dismissed from the priesthood March 8, 2006, has been charged with assaulting a 10-year-old boy in St. Jerome parish from 1998 to 1999. He surrendered to civil authorities this morning. Avery was assistant pastor at St. Bernadette Church in the Drexel Hill section of Upper Darby from June 1970 to June 1972 and assistant pastor of Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Chester from June 1972 to February 1976.
The Rev. Charles Englehardt has been charged with assaulting the same St. Jerome parish boy during the same period as Avery’s alleged assault and Bernard Shero, a 48-year-old Catholic school lay teacher, is charged with assaulting the same St. Jerome boy in 2000.