A Benedictine monk, Father Paschal Morlino, has been suspended from ministry by the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore after it was revealed that he made a payment several years ago to settle sexual harassment allegations.
He was dismissed from his position as pastor of St. Benedict Church in southwest Baltimore, where he served for nearly 40 years, known for his efforts to help residents in poor neighborhoods. The archdiocese learned of the settlement when reporters inquired about it and initiated an internal investigation, resulting in Morlino’s dismissal.
He is no longer permitted to celebrate Mass or engage in public ministry. Morlino, aged 85, has returned to Saint Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania, and an ongoing investigation is underway. The archdiocese will appoint a new administrator for St. Benedict Church.
Few details about the 2018 complaint were disclosed, only mentioning it involved alleged sexual harassment of an adult man who had passed away before the complaint was filed. Morlino confirmed a $200,000 settlement payment but denied wrongdoing. The complainant’s attorney couldn’t comment due to a confidentiality agreement.
Morlino had been at St. Benedict since 1984, working on church improvements and community outreach, and before coming to Baltimore, he founded a nonprofit childcare agency in Pennsylvania.
Last week, Father Paschal Morlino was dismissed from his position as pastor of St. Benedict Church in southwest Baltimore, where he served for nearly 40 years and became known for his longstanding efforts to help residents of poor neighborhoods surrounding the church.
The archdiocese learned about the settlement Thursday when reporters for The Baltimore Banner inquired about it, officials said in a statement Sunday. They said they immediately opened an internal investigation and decided to dismiss Morlino.
“He is no longer permitted to celebrate Mass or engage in public ministry in the Archdiocese,” the statement said.
Morlino, 85, has returned to Saint Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania, the oldest Benedictine monastery in the country, after both the Baltimore archdiocese and the Order of Saint Benedict made a joint decision to suspend his priestly faculties, officials said. The investigation is ongoing.
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