A Catholic priest who spent part of his career in Lower Bucks has taken a leave of absence while the Archdiocese of Philadelphia investigates sexual abuse allegations against him, a church official said Thursday.
The official, who asked not to be identified, said the allegations were leveled against the Rev. David C. Sicoli, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in South Philadelphia. The official said the archdiocese would notify parishioners this weekend about the circumstances surrounding the pastor’s absence.
In the 1980s, Sicoli spent time as an assistant pastor at Immaculate Conception BVM Church on Emilie Road in Bristol Township, a former church employee said.
Reached Wednesday, archdiocese spokeswoman Catherine Rossi said she “had no information to share” about Sicoli, who has been pastor at Holy Spirit since 1999. She declined further comment.
A grand jury in Philadelphia has been convened to investigate sexual abuse allegations against archdiocese priests to see whether there was any criminal wrongdoing. As new cases come forward, the archdiocese typically informs the grand jury, Abramowitch said.
Cathie Abookerie, a spokeswoman for the city district attorney’s office, declined comment. The law precludes her from talking about grand jury proceedings or confirming whether a grand jury has been convened.