Abuse alleged against retired priest by former parishioner

Police will not pursue case stemming from incidents dating back to late 1960s, but Archdiocese removes his authority

May 19, 2011|By Don Markus, The Baltimore Sun

A retired Baltimore priest accused last year of sexually abusing a young female parishioner over 40 years ago will not face charges after a police investigation stalled and the unidentified woman decided to pursue the case, spokesman for the police and the Archdiocese of Baltimore said Thursday.

Father John Lippold, who retired after a 52-year career in 2009, was accused of abusing the woman "a number of times" over a two-year period beginning in the late 1960s, according to Archdiocese spokesman Sean Caine. The alleged abuse occurred while Lippold, now 79, was the associate priest at the Saints Phillip&James Catholic Church, Caine said. Lippold served there between 1967 and 1973.

The allegations against Father Lippold were made last October, according to the Archdiocese, which then contacted Baltimore police. Police told the Archdiocese to stop its own investigation and have no further contact with Lippold.

The police investigation "stalled" according to police spokesman Kevin Brown,

After getting permission last month from police to relaunch its investigation, the Archdiocese set up a meeting with Lippold, who denied the allegation, as well as the alleged victim.

As a result of the meeting, the Archdiocese revoked Lippold's authority to act as a priest.

"Nothing he said deterred us from taking that action," Caine said Thursday.

Caine said Thursday that while no other allegations have been made against Lippold, the Archdiocese is continuing to investigate.

Father Lippold most recently served as associate pastor at St. Philip Neri in Linthicum, where he had been for 20 years.

After being ordained in 1957, Lippold served at seven churches, all but one in the Baltimore area. Lippold was as associate pastor at St. Bernard from 1957 until 1962, at St. John in Frederick (1962-1967), at Saints Phillip and James, at Shrine of the Sacred Heart (1973-1974). He was then the pastor at All Saints 1974 to 1976. Briefly leaving the Baltimore area to serve as associate pastor at St. Ann in Naples, Fla. (1976-1977), Lippold returned to Maryland as associate pastor at St. Philip Neri in Linthicum in 1977-1978, as pastor at St. Mary, Star of Sea in Baltimore from 1978 to 1989 and as a temporary administrator at Our Lady of Good Counsel in 1981.

Lippold, who lives in a retirement community in Baltimore County, was not available for comment.

don.markus@baltsun.com

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