Philly priest suspended after allegation of abuse

PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has placed a priest on administrative following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor more than four decades ago.

The diocese said Sunday that 74-year-old Rev. James J. Collins was barred from ministry pending the investigation’s outcome. He was ordained in 1964 and had served in a number of Philadelphia parishes, schools and offices.

Officials said the action is not connected to the cases of priests placed on leave following a grand jury report in February 2011.

The diocese said an announcement was made at Saint Martha Parish in Philadelphia, where an official said Monday that Collins had retired and left the area. A listed number for him could not be found Monday and a message left at an associated address was not immediately returned.

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