A Baltimore priest has been dismissed over 2018 sexual harassment settlement

Oct 16, 2023, 11:16 AM

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Benedictine monk has been suspended from ministry after the Catholic Archdiocese of Baltimore recently became aware of a payment he made several years ago to settle sexual harassment allegations.

Last week, Father Paschal Morlino was dismissed from his position as pastor of St. Benedict Church in southwest Baltimore, where he served for nearly 40 years and became known for his longstanding efforts to help residents of poor neighborhoods surrounding the church.

The archdiocese learned about the settlement Thursday when reporters for The Baltimore Banner inquired about it, officials said in a statement Sunday. They said they immediately opened an internal investigation and decided to dismiss Morlino.

“He is no longer permitted to celebrate Mass or engage in public ministry in the Archdiocese,” the statement said.

Morlino, 85, has returned to Saint Vincent Archabbey in Pennsylvania, the oldest Benedictine monastery in the country, after both the Baltimore archdiocese and the Order of Saint Benedict made a joint decision to suspend his priestly faculties, officials said. The investigation is ongoing.

Kim Metzgar, communications director for Saint Vincent Archabbey, said she was unable to comment because of the ongoing investigation.

The archdiocese will appoint a new administrator to oversee Saint Benedict Church, which is owned and operated by the Benedictines, according to their statement.

Church officials disclosed few details about the 2018 complaint against Morlino, saying only that it focused on “alleged sexual harassment of an adult man” who had died before the complaint was filed. Officials said they were unable to corroborate the third-party allegations as a result.

In an interview last week with The Banner, Morlino confirmed the $200,000 settlement payment, denied any wrongdoing and said he had nothing to hide.

“I just wanted to keep him quiet, to be rid of him, because he was just stirring up trouble,” he told The Banner, referring to the complainant, who died in 2020.

An attorney who represented the man didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment Monday.

Morlino arrived at St. Benedict in 1984, a time of declining membership and waning interest in the church. In the years that followed, he led efforts to update and improve church buildings and strengthen the parish’s mission, according to their website.

Before coming to Baltimore, Morlino founded Adelphoi Village, a nonprofit child care agency that works with at-risk youth in Pennsylvania.

United States News

Associated Press

Kansas governor and GOP leaders say they have a deal on tax cuts to end 2 years of stalemate

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas’ Democratic governor and top Republican lawmakers say they have an agreement on a package of broad tax cuts, potentially ending a two-year political standoff that has prevented their state from following others in making big reductions. The deal announced late Thursday by Gov. Laura Kelly and GOP leaders would save […]

46 minutes ago

Associated Press

A week of disorder in Cleveland, as City Hall remains closed after cyber threat

CLEVELAND (AP) — Cleveland’s City Hall remained closed to the public Friday, as officials in Ohio’s second-largest city continued to grapple with the effects of a cyber threat. City operations have been hampered all week by the threat, which was first detected Sunday. The nature of the threat, its cause and how extensively it affected […]

46 minutes ago

Associated Press

Move over grizzlies and wolves: Yellowstone visitors hope to catch a glimpse of rare white buffalo

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) — Standing at the edge of a bluff overlooking the Lamar River in Yellowstone National Park, TJ Ammond stared through binoculars at hundreds of buffalo dotting the verdant valley below. Tan-colored calves frolicked near their mothers while hulking bulls wallowed in mud. As his wife and young children clustered behind […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Her dying husband worried she’d have money troubles. Then she won the lottery

FREEPORT, Pa. (AP) — In the weeks before his death, Karen Coffman’s husband worried she might have money troubles after he was gone. But two weeks before he died in April of complications from a brain tumor, the Pennsylvania woman bought a scratch-off state lottery ticket that netted her $1 million. “When I told him […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge says trial is required to decide government’s antitrust case over Google’s advertising tech

ALEXANDRIA, Va. (AP) — A federal judge on Friday said the government’s antitrust case against Google over its advertising technology will go to trial in September, rejecting both sides’ request to rule in their favor as a matter of law. The Justice Department and Google had been expected to make their arguments seeking summary judgment […]

2 hours ago

Associated Press

Vermont governor vetoes data privacy bill, saying state would be most hostile to businesses

Vermont’s governor has vetoed a broad data privacy bill that would have been one of the strongest in the country to crack down on companies’ use of online personal data by letting consumers file civil lawsuits against companies that break certain privacy rules. Republican Gov. Phil Scott said in his veto message late Thursday that […]

2 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Midwestern University

Midwestern University Clinic visits boost student training & community health

Going to a Midwestern University Clinic can help make you feel good in more ways than one.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Beat the heat, ensure your AC unit is summer-ready

With temperatures starting to rise across the Valley, now is a great time to be sure your AC unit is ready to withstand the sweltering summer heat.


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.

A Baltimore priest has been dismissed over 2018 sexual harassment settlement