Father Arthur Chappell (Augustinian)
Archdiocese of Philadelphia
Assigned as follows:
- Province of St. Thomas of Villanova (Villanova, PA)
- Mount Augustine Apostolic Center (Staten Island, NY)
- Biscayne College (Miami, FL)
- Merrimack College (North Andover, MA)
- Villanova University (Villanova, PA)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Arthur Chappell:
Father Arthur Chappell was ordained an Augustinian priest and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. For eight years he served as Secretary and Treasurer of the Province of St. Thomas of Villanova. He served for two years as Director of Mount Augustine Apostolic Center on Staten Island. Father Chappell taught theology at Biscayne College in Miami, FL where he was also Director of Student Activities. He also taught theology at Merrimack College in North Andover, MA and Villanova University where he served as Chair of the Department of Theology and Religious Studies for ten years.
According to media reports, in May 2003, Father Chappell resigned from Villanova University amid allegations that he repeatedly sexually abused a teenage seminary student during his freshman year, when he lived in an on-campus house of seminarians from 1975 through 1976. The boy, who was studying to become a priest, reported abuse in 1977 to a Villanova psychologist who told the Order. Father Chappel was the boy’s spiritual advisor.
“He used his priesthood and the sacraments of the church to manipulate me,” the man said. “It’s all about power, and his illness.”
A lawyer for the Augustinian order said Father Chappell acknowledged engaging in inappropriate sexual behavior with the boy but “disagrees significantly with the number and places and nature of events.”
The order counseled Father Chappell at the time, but no written record of complaint was made and no further action was taken. Father Chappell has been serving as executive director of Augustinian Press since 2005.
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