Tuesday 23 January 2024

Millersville deacon suspended from ministry after allegation

A Millersville deacon who has been involved in ministry to those experiencing homelessness has been suspended from ministry after the Archdiocese of Baltimore received information about sexual misconduct involving Deacon Edward “Ed” Stoops.

Deacon Stoops has served at Our Lady of the Fields in Millersville and provided food and other support at St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Baltimore to those experiencing homelessness.

According to a statement from the archdiocese, the allegation has been reported to law enforcement. 

According to the statement, “one individual with whom Deacon Stoops allegedly engaged in inappropriate sexual activity may have been a minor at the time.”

As per policy and practice, the archdiocese cooperates with law enforcement.

The statement said that after receiving permission to proceed from the Anne Arundel County Police a few days ago, the archdiocese has commenced its own investigation.  

Pursuant to archdiocesan policy, the archdiocese removed Deacon Stoops’ faculties to function as a deacon and suspended him from ministry, pending the results of a full investigation. 

The statement said, “Deacon Stoops has acknowledged adult sexual activity that is inappropriate for a deacon and has denied any sexual abuse of a minor.

“This matter is in an early stage of investigation and thus no determination of credibility has been made by the archdiocese at this time,” the statement said. “However, the archdiocese is making this communication in order to solicit any relevant information as part of its investigation and also in order to fulfill its commitment to open communication with affected communities. In accordance with archdiocesan policy, counseling assistance is available to those affected by child sexual abuse.”

Deacon Stoops was ordained as a deacon in 1972 and has served as a deacon at Our Lady of the Fields since his ordination.