July 18, 2005

Two more women accuse priest

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Nancy Phillips
Inquirer Staff Writer

Two more women have come forward to accuse a retired Center City priest of sexually abusing them when they were minors.

The women, who are sisters, say Msgr. Philip J. Dowling assaulted them decades ago when he was their family's parish priest at Corpus Christi Church in North Philadelphia.

Dowling, 76, the former pastor of St. Patrick Parish near Rittenhouse Square, was suspended in March after two other women - also sisters - told The Inquirer he had abused them for years, beginning in the 1960s when they were preteens.

In an interview, Dowling admitted he had "crossed the bound" by repeatedly touching one of the girls in an "inappropriate" sexual manner, but he denied abusing her sister, as both women allege.

He said his actions were an aberration in an otherwise stellar career. "It's been 40-some years ago, and it's the only situation like that that ever occurred in my life," Dowling said.

Posted by kshaw at July 18, 2005 06:12 AM