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Catholic Pastor Removed Amid Investigation Of 'Improper Conduct' With Adult Men

CHICAGO (CBS) -- The pastor of a Catholic church in the Goose Island neighborhood has been removed from his duties, as the Archdiocese investigates allegations of "improper conduct involving adult men."

Rev. C. Frank Phillips, pastor of St. John Cantius Parish, will not be allowed to perform sacramental or other priestly duties, and will not live at the parish during the investigation.

Archdiocese spokeswoman Anne Maselli said the allegations against Phillips do not involve minors.

In a letter to the parish, Archbishop Blase Cupich said matter would be investigated by the Congregation of the Resurrection, a religious community within the Catholic church of which Phillips is a member.

"I am aware that this is difficult news to receive, but the Archdiocese of Chicago is committed to ensuring those serving our parishioners are fit for ministry. Know that this decision was made after careful consideration. I will continue to pray for you and am confident the Lord will sustain the St. John Cantius community as you make this transition," Cupich stated.

The schedule of masses and other services at the church will continue as normal.

Phillips also is founder of the Canons Regular of St. John Cantius, a religious community of men in the U.S. and Canada dedicated to preserving the devotional, musical, artistic, and religious teaching traditions of the Catholic church. The Canons Regular are part of the Congregation of the Resurrection.

The Archdiocese said Rev. Scott Thelander, pastor of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Springfield, will serve as administrator of the Canons Regular.


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