The Archdiocese of Philadelphia barred two more priests from ministry on Friday amid allegations of child sexual abuse, bringing the tally to nine clergymen banned from the embattled church since May.
Archbishop Charles Chaput said Rev. John Bowe, 64, and Rev. David Givey, 68, did not sexually abuse minors, but violated what the church defines as the "boundaries of appropriate behavior in all interactions with children and young people."
"We're not commenting on specifics for what could be a variety of reasons," said archdiocese spokesman Kenneth A. Gavin, who declined to elaborate.
Bowe and Givey, who both have served as clergymen for nearly four decades, have the right to an appeal. They could not be immediately reached for comment Friday.
The announcement leaves 12 pending cases of the 26 Philadelphia priests suspended following a February 2011 grand jury investigation into the archdiocese's handling of child sex abuse allegations.
The report determined that at least 37 priests had been permitted to keep working "despite reports that they have engaged in improper behavior with minors."
In May, five priests were barred from ministry following a church investigation into accusations of child sex abuse. Less than three weeks later and in a separate probe, two others were barred due to allegations of sexual abuse of minors.
With nearly 1.5 million members, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia is one of the largest in the nation.
Friday's announcement comes exactly two weeks after Monsignor William Lynn was convicted of child endangerment in the landmark case. The jury was unable to bring a verdict against his co-defendant, the Rev. James Brennan, who was charged with attempted rape of a 14-year-old altar boy and endangering the welfare of a child.
Defrocked priest Edward Avery was due to also go on trial with Brennan and Lynn, but pleaded guilty in March to involuntary deviate sexual intercourse after admitting to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old altar boy during the 1998-99 school year at St. Jerome Parish.