Allentown Priest ‘Self Reports’ Sex Abuse Case, Removed from Ministry

An 87-year-old Catholic priest who retired 11 years ago was removed from ministry after telling superiors that he sexually abused a minor in the early 1980s, the Allentown Diocese said Friday.

Stephen J. Halabura — who was ordained in 1961 and had been serving as a substitute priest as needed — was removed from ministry in May when he reported the incident. Law enforcement was notified, the diocese said in a news release.

The incident occurred at the former St. Anthony of Padua Parish in Millmont, Berks County, which was later closed and merged into St. John Baptist de la Salle in Shillington.

An independent investigation concluded the report was credible. The Independent Review Board, a panel that advises the bishop on clergy abuse, “recently recommended Halabura was unsuitable for ministry” and his name was added to the list of accused priests on the diocese website, the release said.

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