Statement from the Provincial on Oblate's Sentencing


This is a sad day for Father Charles Englehardt because, I believe, an innocent man has been sent to prison.  Yes, child sexual abuse is wrong.  It is criminal, and it is evil.  Yet, Fr. Engelhardt did not commit this crime.  Prior to the trial, he passed a polygraph test administered by an agent of the firm used by the Philadelphia District Attorney's Office.  Also, his accuser, a convicted felon, changed his wild and fanciful story countless times before going to trial.  While I respect the jury system in our country, I do believe that they erred egregiously in this case.  I am fully convinced that if Fr. Englehardt had not been a priest, this case would never have been brought to trial.   I know that he is an innocent man.


Since Father Engelhardt and his attorney are planning to appeal the decision, I am not able to comment further.