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Philadelphia Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer

Philadelphia-Diocese-Clery-ABuse-LookupAs the leading religious institution of the world, the foundation of the Catholic Church providing instruction of the faith in the Catholic parish community under the guidance of Pope Francis. Many are drawn to Catholicism in the United States because of its high standards, forgiveness, and opportunity for second chances. Unfortunately, many religious leaders take their authority given by the Church and use it to sexually abuse others.

Sexual molestation has penetrated the world’s leading religious institution with stories that splash the headlines. Sadly, inappropriate sexual conduct is significantly more common among priests, brothers, and other religious leaders then once believed. For the last seven years, approximately 4% of all clerics in the Catholic Church have faced substantiated or credible accusations of engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with minors.

There is no evidence that priests sexually molest innocent underage minors at a higher rate than other groups of men in society. However, the way the Church has handled the problem has been abysmal. Their lack of accountability and failure to take responsibility has created an opportunity for predators to have access to hundreds of vulnerable children. These innocent souls who were victimized could have been protected had Church leaders reported the problem to appropriate authorities.

Hiring an Archdiocese of Philadelphia Sexual Abuse Attorney

Many survivors of clergy sexual assault never talk to anyone about what happened. Often they are embarrassed, feel they will be ostracized, or fear any retaliation that might come from their attacker or others. Predatory priests in active ministry are empowered by their victims’ silence and use that power to victimize others.

Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC remains committed to obtaining justice on behalf of victims of sexual abuse in the Philadelphia Archdiocese. With our years of experience, we use the law to hold those responsible civilly accountable. We have filed civil suits on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve for their damages. Our team of abuse injury lawyers will listen patiently to your story in a confidential setting to protect your rights and provide legal advice on filing a sexual assault lawsuit against the Archdiocese and parishes in Bucks County and Harrisburg.

Pennsylvania Church Allegations of Sexual Abuse

As of April 2020, the Roman Catholic Church in Pennsylvania has settled cases to resolve claims filed by over 560 victims abuses by their clergy members. Through a negotiated agreement, the survivors have already received $84 million, a number that will grow substantially in the years ahead. As a result of a Grand Jury Report, nearly every Pennsylvania Diocese and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia have created a victim compensation fund to financially compensate eligible sexual assault survivors who were harmed by the clergy.

The Philadelphia Archdiocese has settled with 181 sexual abuse victims paying out almost $39 million through its compensation fund that was just opened in 2019. The Archdiocese remains busy processing claims through its Independent Reconciliation and Reparations Program. The program administrators have paid out an average of $215,000 to each injured victim. While this number seems high, the Los Angeles Archdiocese has paid out an average of $780,000 to each victim sexually assaulted by clergy in Southern California.

Name of Priest & Other Church Officials in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Avery, Edward V.

Ordained: 1970

Even though the Catholic Church was aware of Father Avery’s history of sexual abuse with children, he remained at the Saint Jerome Catholic Church Rectory in PA. At 73 years old, Avery pled guilty to sexual abuse charges in 2012 and continues to serve a prison sentence.

Current Status: Convicted – Remains in Prison


Ayres, William G.

Ordained: 1999

A 28-year-old former altar boy filed a lawsuit in 2011 accusing Reverend Ayres of molesting him in the 1990s for its three years. The plaintiff alleges Ayres started the abuse when he was a seminarian in 1996 and continued the assault after the priest was ordained. The Archdiocese of PA suspended Ayres.

Current Status: Sued by victim


Barr, Philip R.

Ordained: 1948

In 2018, the Catholic Diocese of Pittsburg placed Reverend Barr on leave after allegations of sexual assault involving a minor arose. The priest denied the allegations.

Current Status: Died 11/2014


Behan, James J.

Ordained: 1973

The Father pleaded guilty (2/2005) to repeatedly sexually assaulting a 15-year-old North Catholic High School male student during the 1970s.

Current Status: Sentenced to 12 years’ probation


Bolesta, Michael C.

Ordained: 1989

Beginning in 1991, at least eleven male teens accused the priest of sexual abuse. The Church had Father Bolesta psychologically evaluated and then reassigned to Philadelphia parishes and a Children’s Hospital where he served as chaplain.

Current Status: Died 1/2004


Bowe, John F.

Ordained: 1973

Reverend Bowe was part of an initial list of over twenty priests investigated for inappropriate sexual behavior. In 2012, the priest was found to have violated the archdiocese’s standards.

Current Status: Unsuitable for ministry Removed in 2012


Bradley, H. Cornell

Ordained: 1969

An investigation in 2007 found that the priest had engaged in sexual misconduct in the early 1980s with an adult male.

Current Status: Removed from ministry in 2006 and currently residing in the Charlotte Diocese


Bransfield, (Bishop) Michael

Ordained: 1971

Allegations of sexual harassment of adults by Bishop Bransfield were determined to be credible by the Holy Father as was the misuse of Diocesan funds involving millions of dollars. One allegation of inappropriate sexual behavior involved a nine-year-old girl.

Current Status: Resigned 9/2018


Brennan, James J.

Ordained: 1989

In 2016, Reverend Brennan received probation after an accusation of attempted rape of a teenage boy. An initial criminal case ended in a mistrial in 2012.

Current Status: Leave of Absence in 1/2006 served two years’ probation


Brennan, Robert L.

Ordained: 1964

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia removed the nursing home chaplain, Reverend Brennan, who had inappropriate (sadomasochistic) physical relationships with teenage boys years ago. One victim died in 2013 of a drug overdose. The family filed a lawsuit.

Current Status:  Arrest 9/2019


Broughan, Leonard W.

Ordained: 1955

In 1993, a male student at Roman Catholic High School (PA) alleged that the priest sexually abused him while working at the archdiocese.

Current Status: Died 1998


Brugger, Craig F.

Ordained: 1973

A victim filed a lawsuit claiming the priest sexually assaulted him between 1972 and 1976 while attending Saint Anne’s Parish in Phoenixville, PA, when he was 12 years old.

Current Status: Died 2010


Brzyski, James J.

Ordained: 1977

A former altar boy filed a lawsuit against the Archdioceses of Philadelphia over allegations that the Parish priest sexually assaulted him on the Jersey Shore during summer trips. A Class Action Lawsuit was filed. Reverend Brzyski might have abused over 100 victims.

Current Status: Died 2007


Cadwallader, George B.

Ordained: 1992

The Archdiocese deemed Reverend Cadwallader unsuitable from ministry after finding substantiated claims of sexual assault in 2012. The priest was removed from service while working at St. Vincent de Paul in 2011.

Current Status: Removed from service


Cahill, Raymond J.

Ordained: 1947

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia found no conclusive evidence involving Reverend Cahill and allegations of sexual misconduct with minors.

Current Status: Deceased


Campbell, Hugh P.

Ordained: 1961

In 2012, The Archdiocese of Philadelphia found credible evidence that Monsignor Campbell was unsuitable for ministry due to sexual abuse involving a minor.

Current Status: Died 2/2016


Cannon, John A.

Ordained: 1948

Evidence to the trial revealed that Reverend Cannon groped boys in their bed after sneaking into a church-run camp cabin. The church reassigned the priest to another parish.

Current Status: Died 5/2017


Castellani, Paul A.

Ordained: 1996

The Archdiocese found credible evidence that Reverend Castellani was unsuitable for ministry after an investigation was opened by a Grand Jury detailing numerous accusations of sexual assault.

Current Status: Unsuitable for ministry


Catullo, Pasquale R.

Ordained: 1963

Reverend Catullo self-reported a sexual relationship with a female high school junior during the 1968-69 school year. The church took no action.

Current Status: As of 11/2004, the Reverend was living a supervised life of prayer and penance.


Chambers, Gerard W.

Ordained: 1934

Allegations arose that Reverend Chambers sexually molested six altar boys during the 1950s involving oral and anal sex with one victim.

Current Status: Placed on permanent health leave in 1963.


Chapman, Michael A.

Ordained: 1982

The archdiocese cleared Reverend Chapman of child sexual abuse allegations during an initial investigation. However, the allegations were substantiated after the second investigation, and the information was turned over to local law enforcement.

Current Status: Permanently barred from ministry


Chappell, Arthur B.

Ordained: 1969

A victim leveled accusations against Reverend Chappell claiming sexual abuse in 1975 and 1976. The priest considered that sexual acts were consensual. The church took no further action.

Current Status: Resigned 2003


Close, John A.

Ordained: 1969

In 2012, The church found Monsignor Close suitable for ministry after suspension involving an allegation that was later found to be unsubstantiated.

Current Status: Died 3/2018


Cochrane, Richard J.

Ordained: 1972

A 28-year-old man alleged that two priests, including Cochrane, abused him during second and third grade and again during freshman year at high school. The priest was arrested and tried. Cochrane was sentenced to prison for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old student at Malvern Preparatory.

Current Status: Sentenced 7/2003 to 1.5 to 4 years for sexual assault


Collins, James J.

Ordained: 1964

In 2014, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia removed Reverend Collins while investigating allegations of sexual abuse with minors occurring over four decades ago.

Current Status: Deemed Not Suitable for Ministry and Removed (2/2014)


Conroy, Michael F.

Ordained: 1994

The archdiocese removed the Deacon Conroy after substantiating sexual misconduct involving a minor. The Deacon served at Sacred Heart, Royersford, between 1994 2002.

Current Status: Remove from Active Ministry in 2002 Laicized in 3/2007


Coonan, James J.

Ordained: 1965

Victims accused Reverend Coonan of sexual abuse involving a 14-year-old and 15-year-old male in 1966 or 1967.

Current Status: Removed from Active Ministry in October 2004


Costigan, George A. a.k.a. Daniel Eliseus

Ordained: 1974

In 1993, a Pennsylvania woman accused Father Costigan of sexual abuse occurring decades earlier between 1965 and 1972, starting when the victim was nine years old. In 1971, the priest was transferred to San Manuel, Arizona.

Current Status: Removed from the Ministry 4/1994


Cudemo, Nicolas V.

Ordained: 1963

Reverend Cudemo’s cousin expressed doubt to church officials that they would take steps to stop the priest from molesting her that began when she was age ten, decades earlier. Other allegations of sexual abuse were made in 1991 by three female cousins and six women not related to the priest.

Current Status: Defrocked 2005


Delli Carpini, John J.

Ordained: 1976

A victim alleged the priest molested him at 13 years old beginning as an eight-grader in 1997 until 1983.

Current Status: On Leave: 2004 Defrocked: 2005


DePaoli, Edward M.

Ordained: 1970

The priest was convicted of possession of child porn in 1996 and accused of abusing a 14-year-old girl in 1970. Secret files kept by the archdiocese identified that a psychologist warned Church officials that the priest was likely a repeat offender.

Current Status: Defrocked 8/2004


DiGregorio, Joseph L.

Ordained: 1966

The Philadelphia Archbishop reinstated Reverend DiGregorio after he had been accused of molesting a girl in her teens during the 1960s. The Church based its decision because there were no other complaints reported, and the priest posed no danger to minors.

Current Status: Reinstated into the Ministry 2012


Dolan, Richard D.

A female survivor of clergy sexual abuse stated four priests targeted her for sex when she was 14 years old in 1964, including Reverend Dolan. The victim said that the priest told her the assault that lasted eighteen months was her fault.

Current Status: Laicized 5/2000


Donofrio, Michael J.

Ordained: 1976

A man employed as a parish worker during his teenage years between 1982 and 1983 accused the priest of sexual abuse.

Current Status: Relieved of Duties: 2003 Laicized: 7/2007


Dougherty, John C.

Ordained: 1945

Reverend Dougherty’s name was found on a secret memo involving church officials. The document contained accusations of sexual misconduct with minors. There was no conclusive evidence involving this priest.

Current Status: Unknown


Dougherty, William J.

Ordained: 1969

In 2004, the archdiocese found credible evidence over allegations of sexual abuse involving Reverend Dougherty and minors. Two months later, the priest was informed of the allegations and imposed restrictions on his ministry.

Current Status: Laicized 7/2006


Dowling, Philip J.

Ordained: 1956

In 2012, Reverend Dowling admitted to molesting one girl decades ago and faces accusations of molesting three others when they were pre-teens. Some victims were sisters.

Current Status: Living a life of prayer and penance 2005


Dunne, Peter J.

Ordained: 1954

In 1989, the priest’s therapist warned church officials in a secret archive file that he is “a very sick man” who needs to be “relieved from active ministry.” One of the priest’s sexual assault victims was a boy (age 14). The assaults began in 1958.

Current Status: Died 4/2010


Durante, Ernest A.

Initial allegations claimed that this priest watched another Reverend anally penetrate a boy with his finger in the swimming pool at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in the late 60s. The victim stated there were 15 or 16 other boys abused by the other Reverend and witnessed by Durante.

Current Status: Retired 2005


Durkin, Thomas J.

Ordained: 1964

Victims allege Reverend Durkin molested eight boys between the age of 11 and 14 from 1964 through 1966. The Catholic Church responded by transferring the priest between parishes until he left active ministry 1968.

Current Status: Defrocked 2005


Dux, James M.

Ordained: 1948

In 1994, Monsignor Lynn began an investigation into the known “pedophile” priest who was attracted to little boys. Reverend Dux was facing allegations involving eleven boys dating back to the 1960s. The accusations were found credible in 2004, resulting in his permanent restriction from ministry.

Current Status: Died 11/2006


Englehardt, Charles F.

Ordained: 1977

In 2011, a former Saint Jerome’s altar boy filed a lawsuit charging Father Engelhardt with sexual abuse after a jury convicted the Reverend of sexual assault. However, the priest died in prison, waiting for his appeal to be heard.

Current Status: Died in prison 2014


Feret, Francis S.

Ordained: 1962

In 2012, a victim of sexual assault by Reverend Feret wrote a letter that acknowledged, “you took advantage of a nine-year-old boy [, who was] afraid to tell you because you were a priest.” Other victims injured by Feret came forward. The diocese substantiated the accusations.

Current Status: Removed from active ministry


Fernandez, Mark E.

Ordained: 2004

The PA Grand Jury investigation concerning child abuse found Father Fernandez not suitable for ministry. The priest was accused of violating church standards, though no details were released.

Current Status: Permanently  removed 12/1/2013


Flood, Michael J.

Ordained: 1968

The credibility of a sexual abuse accuser drew attention to a case in 2011 that suspended a lawsuit. The diocese announced an alleged sexual abuse of the minor in the late 1970s was unsubstantiated.

Current Status: Returned to ministry after suspension


Furmanski, Leonard A.

Ordained: 1959

In 2003, the archdiocese found accusations of sexual abuse credible, involving Father Furmanski and a young girl in the 1970s. The 40-year-old victim said the priest repeatedly assaulted her when she was 14 years old. The Church elevated the parish pastor to Monsignor in 1998.

Current Status: Died 2009


Gaghan, Robert W.

Ordained: 1954

In 2008, a man reported that his uncle, Father Gaghan, fondled and performed oral sex on him when he was a young child. The priest was a former teacher at Philadelphia St. John Neumann High School.

Current Status: Died 1989


Gallagher, Francis J.

Ordained: 1973

In 1989, police arrested Father Gallagher for soliciting sex involving two men (18 and 20 years old) in Sea Isle City, New Jersey. The church ordered the priest to receive therapy before reassignment to Immaculate Conception Church (Jenkintown) without any restriction on access to children before he was reassigned to another parish with a school.

Current Status: Defrocked 2006


Gallagher, Joseph J.

Ordained: 1963

In 2007, the archdiocese listened to a 36-year-old victim describe how Father Gallagher sexually abused him as an altar boy decades earlier. However, the church said it could not substantiate the claims. Sometime later, the man committed suicide. In 2011, the Archbishop placed the priest on administrative leave following a Grand Jury Report alleging child abuse involving two boys.

Current Status: Removed from ministry 2/2011


Gallagher, Joseph P.

Ordained: 1973

Reverend Gallagher was accused of sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy while assigned to St. Monica’s Parish (South Philadelphia). The archdiocese received the complaint in 1974 and demanded the priest undergo therapy before being reassigned to a new parish. A lawsuit was filed in 12/2003.

Current Status: Placed on Administrative Leave – 2003 Permanently restricted from Ministry


Gana, Stanley M.

Ordained: 1970

Father Gana was accused of sexually assaulting multiple boys starting in the 1980s. One victim stated the priest had “raped him for years.” Other victims said the priest rotated boys to sleep with. Police never charged the reverend for the crimes.

Current Status: Placed on Administrative Leave Laicized: 2006


Garcia, Armand D.

Ordained: 2005

Police arrested Reverend Garcia in March 2019 on three charges of rape, sexual abuse of a minor, and corruption of a minor. Evidence shows that the priest, who had been working at Saint Martin of Tours Parish (Philadelphia), offered the young victim marijuana or alcohol during abuse encounters in the parish rectory and his living quarters for years.

Current Status: Suspended 3/2018


Gaspar, Mark S.

Ordained: 1998

In 2013, the archdiocese placed Reverend Gaspar on administrative leave after the 2011 Grand Jury Report was released, pending an investigation for credible allegations of sexually inappropriate behavior with minors. The church found the priest was unfit for ministry after accusations were substantiated.

Current Status: Permanently removed from the ministry


Gausch, Joseph P.

Ordained: 1945

The diocese found credible evidence years after Reverend Gausch’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with at least twelve known minors. In 2014, one victim accused the priest of groping his genitals, years earlier when he was an altar boy setting up for mass.

Current Status: Died 1999


Giliberti, Francis A.

Ordained: 1970

Monsignor Giliberti was accused of sexually violating at least four teenage boys in the 1960s through 1976. One victim said that the priest insisted on inspecting his penis for a “masturbation problem.” Another victim stated that the Monsignor sexually abused him at Cardinal O’Hara High School. The archdiocese found the accusations credible in 2004.

Current Status: Died 2018


Gillespie, John E.

Ordained: 1953

The diocese found credible evidence years after Father Gillespie’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with five minors between 1950 and 1997. The church knew of his conduct in 1994 and placed him administrative leave in 2002.

Current Status: Died 2008


Ginn, Charles Jr.

Ordained: 2001 (Deacon)

In 1996, the church asked the Deacon, and history teacher, to resign his position after kissing and hugging three students. The Deacon denied inappropriate intent but was ordered to undergo counseling and restrict his contact with students. With students stated that the Deacon had hugged and kissed them on the mouth during counseling sessions.

Current Status: Placed on leave 11/2005


Givey, David W.

Ordained: 1971

In 2012, the archdiocese placed Reverend Givey on administrative leave while investigating allegations of inappropriate behavior with minors. The church found the priest unsuitable for ministry after the release of the 2011 Grand Jury Report.

Current Status: Placed on administrative leave


Glatts, Joseph M.

Ordained: 1966

In 2013, the archdiocese found that Reverend Glatts working at SS. Simon and Jude (West Chester) had violated church standards and permanently remove him from duties of ministries at his Parish. The case was part of the archdiocese officials’ investigation into allegations of sexual abuse with minors.

Current Status: Permanently Removed from the Ministry 12/2013


Grumm, Thomas J.

Ordained: 1975

Allegations arose that Father Grumm sexually abused a 15-year-old boy around 1976 and another teenager in the late 1980s. In 2001, the diocese told Grumm to retire and permanently restricted him from the ministry.

Current Status: Permanently restricted from the ministry


Hagan, David

Ordained: 1966

Two men came forward saying that Father Hagan sexually molested them as children during the 1970s when they lived a block away from Hagan’s home.

Current Status: Died 5/2005


Harris, Steven

Ordained: 1980

In 2011, the archdiocese placed the pastor of Saint Therese of the Child Jesus on leave while the church investigates charges of inappropriate sexual behavior. The church found the charges unsubstantiated and allowed Reverend Harris to return to work.

Current Status: Placed on leave (12/15) over concerns regarding suitability for ministry


Haynes, Mark J.

Ordained: 1985

In 2016, the archdiocese suspended the West Chester, Pennsylvania priest after being sentenced to 20 years in prison for child pornography. Reverend Haynes pled guilty the year before for enticing minors using the Internet to engage in sexual contact, distribution of child pornography, and concealing/destroying evidence. Three victims came forward in February 2015, alleging the priest sexually abused them as children during the 1990s.

Current Status: Serving 20 years in prison sentenced 2/2016


Henry, James T.

Ordained: 1964

In 1987, the archdiocese received information involving an allegation against Father Henry of inappropriate behavior with the minor years ago. The church determined there was no conclusive evidence.

Current Status: Permanently  restricted from ministry 2004


Hermley, Robert J.

Ordained: 1955

In 2005, Father Hermley pleaded guilty to indecent assault that occurred in 1982 with two teenage boys while at the Padua Academy in Wilmington. In 1982, he was arrested in Trevose while watching X-rated movies with two underage boys at a local drive-in theater. The police found nineteen pornographic magazines in the vehicle. The case was part of the $24.8 million settlement that involved forty victims.

Current Status: Died 8/2009


Hoffman, Gerard J.

Ordained: 1973

In 2008, the Philadelphia archdiocese suspended the priest, pending an investigation involving allegations that he sexually abused an underage child decades ago. The church did not substantiate the accusations.

Current Status: Relieved of duties and limiting a supervised life of prayer and penance


Howitz, Regis

Evidence revealed that two Franciscan clergymen, including Brother Regis Howitz, sexually abused an underage boy in the mid-1990s at Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia when the Brother was employed as a maintenance worker. The victim later died of a drug overdose in 2006 at age 28.

Current Status: Unknown


Hoy, Daniel J.

Ordained: 1948

Reverend Hoy was one of 21 priests the archdiocese placed on administrative leave following allegations of sexual abuse with minors. However, the priest died before the investigation was completed. The church determined in May 2012 that they could not complete the investigation due to his death.

Current Status: Died 7/2011


Hummell, John F.

Ordained: 1965

In 2006, church officials asked the pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Oxford to step down from his ministry immediately over allegations made the year before that he sexually abused a minor during the 1970s while at Philadelphia’s Roman Catholic High School. An investigation revealed, “patterns of behavior that would be considered sexual abuse.”

Current Status: Banned from serving anywhere as a priest


Iannarella, James M.

Ordained: 1996

In 2005, Reverend Iannarella was accused of sexually abusing a 17-year-old girl in 1999 for over four months while working as an assistant pastor at St. Joseph’s Church in Aston.

Current Status: Defrocked 3/2007


Janowski, Stanley

Ordained: 1966

The archdiocese added Janowski to their list of sexual-offending clerics in 1994. At the time, the priest taught at Archbishop Ryan high school in Philadelphia. Church officials identify the priest as “guilty of sexual misconduct with minors.” The archdiocese settled out of court with one individual.

Current Status: Likely living in Wisconsin


Jones, Richard G.

Ordained: 1963

Court documents released in 2004 revealed that the priest allegedly moved a teen into his home, called him “his adopted son,” and participated with him in the “Charismatic Community” of laypersons and priests promoting “pedophile and homosexual behavior.” A 37-year-old Chester County plaintiff filed suit in 2004 against the priest claiming that beginning when he was 15 years old; he was sexually assaulted by Father Jones at high school and the residence he shared with the priest between 1980 and 1983.

Current Status: Unknown


Joseph, William T.

Ordained: 1966

The archdiocese was notified in 1998 of accusations that Reverend Joseph sexually abused a fifth-grade boy in the late 1970s. The church ordered the priest to undergo a psychological evaluation at St. John Vianney Hospital in February 1998. He submitted his official resignation in June of that year.

Current Status: Officially resigned 6/1998


Killian, William N.

Ordained: 1935

Evidence from a lawsuit revealed that a PA victim accused Father Killian of repeatedly touching her genitals when she was a ten-year-old parishioner in the 1950s at Saint Richard’s Church (South Philadelphia). A male victim stated the priest had him and other children wear skimpy outfits and made a young girl dance naked. The priest was named in a civil lawsuit (2006)

Current Status: Died 1965


Klein, John

Ordained: 1949

In 2011, the archdiocese suspended Reverend John Klein after a man alleged the priest abused him when he was an adolescent at St. Francis Xavier Parish and Roman Catholic High School (Philadelphia) in 1968 or 1969. The victim filed a lawsuit in New Jersey against the archdiocese. Another victim alleged the reverend a molested him at the age of 7 in 1968 or 1969 when the family took a trip to the New Jersey shore.

Current Status: Died 1996


Kohler, Thomas M.

Ordained: 1968

In 1994, Lower Township police charged Reverend Koehler with one count of obscenity. The priest was accused of abusing one male during the 1970s and taking nude photographs of a 15-year-old boy in 1994 in New Jersey. Law Enforcement filed criminal charges.

Current Status: Defrocked 2005


Kolenkiewicz, Louis J.

Ordained: 1993

In 2015, the archdiocese removed the Bucks County priest from ministry after discovering a trove of pornographic images he had downloaded a decade before. Up to a dozen photographs were of children. Reverend Kolenkiewicz had been disciplined in both 2005 and 2011 for downloaded pornography. In 2017, the archdiocese reassigned the priest at the Cathedral Basilica of SS. Peter and Paul.

Current Status: Suspended: 2/2015 Reassigned in 2017 to SS Peter and Paul Cathedral (Philadelphia)


Kornacki, Matthew J.

Ordained: 1973

In 2003, the priest was accused of possessing child pornography from 2001 through 2003. The diocese sent the priest to treatment. He was later indicted and pled guilty in 2004. The priest was ultimately permanently restricted from ministry and now lives in Pennsylvania as a registered sex offender.

Current Status: Convicted and Sentenced to 30 Months in Federal Prison


Kostelnick, Albert T.

Ordained: 1954

The Church became aware of accusations of Reverend Kostelnick fondling at least eighteen girls over a three-decade period. However, the priest was not removed from active duty until more than a decade later and was ultimately permanently restricted from ministry to live a supervised life. One victim stated the Reverend sexually molested her as a teenager while she served meals in the rectory. The priest denied wrongdoing.

Current Status: Died 3/2009


Kuczynski, Edward P.

Ordained: 1977

A victim filed a lawsuit in 2006 against Reverend Kuczynski, alleging sexual abuse occurring between 2002 and 2005. The police were notified in 2005, and the sexual abuse was reported to the archdiocese that determined that the allegation was unfounded. Documents show that the priest resided at Saint Philip Neri Rectory and Saint Monica Manor.

Current Status: Still active in ministry (5/2010)


Lanctot, Dexter A.

Ordained: 1976

Secret archives dated 1994 containing memos sent to Monsignor Malloy released in February 2012 revealed accusations of Reverend Lanctot involved in sexual misconduct with minors. However, there was no conclusive evidence. Lanctot did serve three months in prison for breaking into a Naval Air Station in 1987. In 2012, the priest served as chaplain at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Current Status: Unknown


Lawlor, David T.

Ordained: 1971

In 2002, law enforcement arrested the priest in 2012 while Reverend Lawlor was assigned to Daylesford Abbey on charges that he inappropriately touched a mentally disabled adult male at the YMCA in the whirlpool. The church placed the priest on leave. The Reverend denied accusations, and a jury acquitted him at trial in October 2003.

Current Status: Acquitted of criminal charges in October 2003


Leneweaver, Raymond O.

Ordained: 1962

Reverend Leneweaver faced accusations of sexual abuse involving at least twelve underage children between 1966 and 1980. The church continually reassigned the priest after learning of the abuse. In 1980, Father Leneweaver began teaching in public schools. In 1998, the church denied the priest’s request for reactivation to ministry, claiming the refusal was for the welfare of the church and Leneweaver.

Current Status: Laicized 3/2005


Liggio, John R.

Ordained: 1975

In 2003, the District Attorney’s Office investigated allegations that Reverend Liggio abused a student at school from 1997 to 1998. The church placed Liggio on leave in 2002 when the allegation surfaced. However, the priest denied the allegations, and the district attorney declined to file charges due to insufficient evidence. Father Liggio was named in a civil suit seeking $50,000 in damages filed by the original accuser in July 2012.

Current Status: Unknown


Logrip, Joseph L.

Ordained: 1972

In 2011, the archdiocese placed Reverend Logrip on administrative leave, pending an investigation involving sexually abusing minors decades ago. In 2014, the Archbishop announced that the priest was “suitable for ministry based on unsubstantiated allegations that he sexually abused minors over twenty years ago.” However, the diocese placed the priest on leave again in 2019 when new allegations of abuse with underage children during the 1980s arose. The church found Father Logrip “unsuitable for ministry” in 2019 and sent the case to the Vatican for review.

Current Status: The Vatican is reviewing the case


Lynn, William J.

Ordained: 1976

The 2011 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Lynn, who worked for Cardinal Bevilacqua as the secretary for the clergy. Evidence shows the priest was accused of two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and knowingly allowed dangerous clergy to continue the ministry after becoming aware that the priest had abused other children.

Current Status: Unknown


Macanga, Joseph E.

Ordained: 1986

In April 2008, the FBI arrested the former priest in Lumberton, New Jersey, after finding child pornography on his computer. Reverend Macanga was identified as participating in an online chat room when working as a coach and teacher at a Burlington County middle school. The priest had left active ministry in 1995.

Current Status: Sentenced in 2009 to 57 months in federal prison


Marinucci, Steven J.

Ordained: 1974

In February 2019, the archdiocese placed Reverend Marinucci on leave after an allegation arose that he sexually abused an underage minor in the 1970s while he worked at Saint Hubert High School for girls and remained in residency at St. Bernard and Saint Bartholomew. Both the archdiocese and local law enforcement began investigations.

Current Status: Allegations under investigation


Martins, Nilo C.

In 1985, Priest and Brazilian pediatrician Nilo Martins was convicted of abusing a twelve-year-old boy. The archdiocese sent Reverend Martins for treatment before being convicted. The priest served only five weeks of the 23/46-month sentence and was deported to Brazil immediately, where he remained an active priest for many years.

Current Status: Deported to Brazil


Mazzotta, George J.

Ordained: 1966

In 2010, the archdiocese removed Reverend Mazzotta’s privileges after allegations arose that he sexually abused a minor more than four decades earlier. The priest was removed as Parochial Victor of Stella Maris parish and reassigned to Villa St. Joseph Retirement Home for priests located in Darby, Pennsylvania. In May 2012, the archdiocese announced the allegations of sexual abuse were credible and deemed Mazzotta unsuitable for ministry.

Current Status: Living a supervised life


McCafferty, Joseph F.

Ordained: 1961

A 1994 secret memo released in 2012 identified McCafferty as one of many priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors. There was no conclusive evidence to proceed forward with the case. In 1994, McCafferty was working at Saint Mary’s Manor and Lansdale as a chaplain.

Current Status: Unknown


McCarthy, Michael J.

Ordained: 1965

In 1986 and 1991, the archdiocese received complaints of sexual abuse involving two male high school students occurring between 1970 and 1976. Reverend McCarthy had been assigned to Cardinal O’Hara High School between 1965 and 1989. Church officials placed McCarthy on leave in 1993 with restrictions. The priest was sent out to receive treatment.

Current Status: Laicized 1/2006


McCole, John F.

Ordained: 1958

In June 2009, a man filed a civil lawsuit in North Carolina, alleging Reverend McCole sexually abused him in Philadelphia when he was an altar boy in the 1970s on numerous occasions. The priest would take the boy to North Carolina, where McCole and another priest, Father Pechulis, forced the child to take part in group oral sex while a third man watched. The lawsuit alleges that when Cardinal Krol became aware of the allegations, he said, “That’s just how men behave with each other.”

Current Status: Died 1/2015


McColgan, Charles P.

Ordained: 1964

A lawsuit filed in 1994 accused Reverend McColgan the following an underage child in a bathhouse. The plaintiff alleges additional abuse by Reverend John Kelly. The court dismissed the civil lawsuit because the document was filed beyond the statute of limitations.

Current Status: Died 1993


McCormick, Andrew D.

Ordained: 1982

In March 2011, Father McCormick was removed from ministry pending an investigation into alleged sexual abuse with minors. One allegation involved boundary issues and computer porn. Law enforcement arrested McCormick in July 2012 and charge the priest with sexual assault of an underage male at Saint John Cantius parish in 1977. The court dismissed three felony charges in August 2012 but reinstated the charges two months later. McCormick trial began in February 2014 and ended in a mistrial a month later. The second trial also ended in a mistrial.

Current Status: Found unsuitable for ministry


McGinnis III, James J.

Ordained: 1978

Reverend McGinnis’ name was included in a 1994 secret memo identifying priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors that lack conclusive evidence. McGinnis was associate pastor at Saint Ignatius in Yardley and pastor at Our Lady of Hope in Philadelphia.

Current Status: Died 10/2010


McGuire, James E.

Ordained: Prior to 1970

Reverend McGuire was accused of sexually abusing three underage males and another victim. The alleged incidents occurred in 1966, while McGuire was still in seminary school. The church placed the priest on leave with restrictions in 2002. McGuire and four other clergymen in his seminary class in 1970 have been laicized or removed for Ministry over concerns involving abuse.

Current Status: Laicized 3/2006


McKenzie, Joseph M.

Ordained: 1951

McKenzie’s name was included in a 1994 secret memo identifying priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors that lacked conclusive evidence. The priest was accused of sexually abusing four underage males between 1966 and 1981. The church placed McKenzie on health leaves at least four times during his career.

Current Status: Died 1989


McLoughlin, Richard J.

Ordained: 1969

In 1994 and 2002, the archdiocese placed McLoughlin on administrative leave after allegations arose of sexual abuse involving a boy in 1968/69 and a fifteen-year-old Gore starting in 1976. The church placed restrictions on the priest after he was ordered to follow a life of prayer and penance while being supervised.

Current Status: Case Referred to the Vatican 11/2004


Meyers, John F.

Ordained: 1983

In late 2018, the archdiocese placed Reverend Meyers on leave when an allegation arose that he sexually abused an underage child in the early 1980s. The church found the priest unsuitable for ministry and sent the matter to the Vatican for review. In April 2019, one of Father Meyers’ survivors of sexual assault found him working at an Arizona charter school and alerted school officials.

Current Status: Likely living and working in Arizona


Mills, Donald J.

Ordained: 1982

In 2011, the PA District Attorney’s Office filed a motion accusing Father Mills of sexually assaulting an underage child in 1982. As early as 1986, there were rumors that the priest had “troubling conduct” before he was transferred to another parish. Church officials placed Mills on leave due to its health.

Current Status: Died 2006


Monahan, Joseph R.

Ordained: 1962

Officials were informed just before the 2005 release of the Grand Jury Report that Reverend Monahan had been accused in 2002 of abusing an eighth-grade boy in 1969.

Current Status: Placed on leave


Mulholland, John H.

Ordained: 1965

Mulholland was accused of sexually abusing at least six underage minors in the 1960s and 1970s. The priest wrote letters to one teen during the 1960s that discussed sadomasochistic outings with teenagers. Church officials in 1968 were aware of the letters and still allowed him to work in his ministry until at least 2002. In 2004, church officials deemed that the charges against Father Mulholland were not credible but provided direction on receiving mental health care. In 2016, a lawsuit filed in Canada by a Pennsylvania victim alleged that Mulholland during a trip to Ontario, Canada.

Current Status: Unknown


Murray, John J.

Ordained: 1947

The archdiocese placed Reverend Murray on leave and restricted his faculties in 1992 after accusations arose of abusing two teen girls the year before. Murray’s name was listed on the secret memo dated 1994 that the church found the priest guilty or accused of sexual misconduct with minors.

Current Status: Died 2006


Murtha, Michael G.

Ordained: 1993

In 1995, the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office charged Reverend Murtha with possession of violent child pornography and S&M material, along with an explicit note that the priest wrote to an underage boy. Murtha denied that the pornography was his before reversing his denial. The church sent the priest to treatment and allowed him to remain active in the ministry until 2008.

Current Status: The Vatican reviewing the case for laicization


Navit, Zachary

Ordained: 1994

The diocese released Reverend Navit’s name among credibly accused priests associated with sexual abuse of underage children. The archdiocese placed the priest on administrative leave in 2011, pending an investigation. In 2013, the church cleared Navit of the allegations and allowed him to return to his previous position as Director of the Offices of Closures and Special Projects.

Current Status: Allegations were not substantiated


Nawn, Henry “Harry” J.

Ordained: 1955

In 1997, the archdiocese received information on the first allegation of Reverend Nawn during the 1960s, the year after his death. The priest was named in civil lawsuits and 2004 and 2006.

Current Status: Died 1996


Newman, Charles

Ordained: 1985

Evidence revealed that two Franciscan clergymen, including Brother Charles Newman, sexually abused an underage boy in the mid-1990s at Archbishop Ryan High School in Northeast Philadelphia when the clergyman was the principal. The victim later died of a drug overdose in 2006 at age 28.

Current Status: Arrested for  theft


Paul, John P.

Ordained: 1972

In 2013, the archdiocese received two allegations stating that Father Paul sexually assaulted underage children approximately four decades earlier while studying in the seminary. Police were notified, but no charges were filed. The church placed Reverend Paul under restrictions. In 2013, the priest voluntarily resigned while denying all allegations. The same year, the church permanently removed Paul from ministry after years as a school minister and teacher. The church found Paul “not suitable for ministry.” In 2019, a woman filed a lawsuit claiming Paul sexually abused her in the early 1980s when she was a high school sophomore that continued the abuse into her college years.

Current Status: Laicized 2015


Pechulis, Justin Paul

Ordained: 1958

In 2008, a lawsuit was filed in North Carolina, accusing Pechulis of sexually assaulting an altar boy in the late 1970s. At the time of the incident, the underage child was age 15 or sixteen. Evidence shows that the victim was first sexually abused by Father John McCole before the Reverend transported the boy to Ashville, NC, where both priests forced the child to engage in group oral sex, and another male watched. The lawsuit alleges that when Cardinal Krol became aware of the allegations, he said, “That’s just how men behave with each other.”

Current Status: Died 4/1983


Peterson, Leonard

Ordained: 1967

In 2011, the diocese released the Reverend’s name, along with twenty other priests, who were credibly accused of sexual abuse behavior involving underage children. Although Peterson worked mostly at Catholic Schools in Philadelphia, he was last assigned as pastor at Saint Maria Goretti Parish in Hatfield. In 2012, the review Board determined all of Peterson’s misconduct claims were unsubstantiated.

Current Status: Found suitable for ministry July 2012


Pinkowski, Terrance

Ordained: 1949

A 1992 civil lawsuit revealed that a man had accused Pinkowski of sexual assault that lasted several years while the priest was a counseling teacher at high school. Church officials promised to pay the victim’s therapy bills and ensure that the priest received care. The diocese transferred Pinkowski out of the diocese and refused to pay for therapy, so the victim filed a lawsuit. A judge dismissed the case due to the expiration of the statute of limitations.

Current Status: Died 1991


Podson, Ted (Theodore)

Ordained: 1976

In 1993, Reverend Podson left Devon Prep (Philadelphia) after allegations arose that the priest sexually assaulted a boy. There were no charges or publicity involved in the case. In 1993, the priest was reassigned as a prison chaplain and resigned again in June 2002. Podson’s name appeared on a diocese list of extern abusive priests. The church removed him in August 2012, where he remained under supervision at a residential treatment center.

Current Status: Removed from ministry 8/2012


Polini, Anthony W.

Ordained: 1949

The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that Polini participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.

Current Status: Died  9/1977


Povish, Robert

Ordained: 1990

In March 2011, the archdiocese placed Povish and another twenty priests on administrative leave after credible allegations arose involving sexual assault and inappropriate behaviors with underage children. Povish was last assigned as a state employee chaplain providing service to Graterford Prison inmates in Skippack. The priest resided at Saint Eleanor Rectory in Collegeville. In May 2012, the archdiocese announced the investigation was completed, and Povish was found that he had violated standards of ministry.

Current Status: Found unsuitable for ministry


Powers, Richard T.

Ordained: 1963

A 1994 list included Powers’ name when identifying priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors. While Monsignor Lynn compiled the list, Cardinal Bevilacqua ordered the Monsignor to destroy the file. However, in 2012, prosecutors received a copy of the list that identified Powers of having sex with an underage girl in the late 1980s while he worked with the Society of Saint James.

Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry 4/2013


Reardon, John D.

Ordained: 1973

In March 2011, the archdiocese placed Reardon and twenty other priests on administrative leave pending investigations involving alleged sexual activity with minors. Reardon was last assigned as pastor at St. John of the Cross Parish in Roslyn. In May 2002, the archdiocese found that the alleged incidents of sexual misconduct were substantiated.

Current Status: Found unsuitable for ministry


Rogers, Francis P.

Ordained: 1946

Father Rogers was accused of sexually abusing innocent victims that started after his ordination and continued for decades. The priest retired in 1995. In 1998, Rogers was reassigned to a retirement home after a victim complained to the archdiocese.

Current Status: Died 2005


Rooney, Thomas

Ordained: 1991

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Rooney. In March 2011, the archdiocese placed Rooney, along with twenty other priests, on administrative leave after credible allegations arose of them engaging in sex with underage children. Rooney had been assigned as a chaplain at the Immaculate Mary Home in Northeast Philadelphia. In May 2012, the archdiocese announced that Father Rooney had violated the church’s standard of ministry and found him “unsuitable for ministry.”

Current Status: Found unsuitable for ministry 2012


Sabadish, Joseph F.

Ordained: 1945

Victims accused Father Sabadish of inappropriate sexual contact in the 1960s. He was found to be a suspect but never charged in the rape and murder of a young female. In 2006, Sabadish was named in a lawsuit that was later dismissed by the court.

Current Status: Died 1999


Santry, William L.

Ordained: 1956

The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Santry. In 2005, a possible victim told the church that the priest had sexually assaulted her when she was sixteen years old during the 1960s and a South Philadelphia parishioner at Our Lady of Loretto. Santry admitted the allegation was true. The victim also stated that Reverend Joseph DeGregorio also molested her at the same church at the same time. In 1971, the Reverend left the priesthood voluntarily

Current Status: Laicized 2006


Satchell, Martin J.

Ordained: 1993

Four months after the priest was ordained, the church placed him on administrative leave through 2003. In 1993, there were “credible allegations of misconduct involving a minor.” Between 1993 and 2004, Satchell taught at numerous schools. In February 2011, a lawsuit was filed. Satchell’s name was identified in secret archives given to Monsignor James Molloy of priests who were guilty of sexually abusing minors.

Current Status: Unknown


Schaeflein, Charles J.

Ordained: 1949

In 2012, Schaeflein’s name was found in a 1994 secret memo listing priests who were accused of sexually abusing minors without conclusive evidence. The priest was accused of assaulting a minor for some time before 1990. In 2005, the church placed Schaeflein on administrative leave.

Current Status: Retired 1989


Schmeer, John P.

Ordained: 1964

Schmeer was sued in 2004 after multiple allegations arose accusing the priest of abusing three underage males in 1966/67 and 1986. In 2003, the first allegation was found not to be credible. However, in 2004, the investigation found the last accusation credible. The church permanently restricted Schmeer from ministry. In 2012, three men filed new lawsuits against the priest. An additional suit filed in 2019 alleges that when an eleven-year-old victim told his parents Reverend Father Traeger had sexually assaulted him, his parents told him to discuss the problem with Father Schmeer, who then also sexually assaulted him.

Current Status: Living a supervised life of prayer and penance 12/2019


Shea, Thomas F.

Ordained: 1964

In the 1970s, Shea was accused of sexually assaulting six boys. The priest admitted he had molested two altar boys between 1972 and 1977. In 1994, the church placed Shea on leave and told him to retire in 1995 with restrictions. The church imposed additional restrictions in 2004 when the priest agreed to live a supervised life. Shea admitted at trial that he had paid one victim hush money.

Current Status: Retired


Sicoli, David C.

Ordained: 1975

In 2004, the Archdiocese of Philadelphia placed Sicoli on administratively after accusations arose of sexual abuse involving at least twelve boys. The assaults had allegedly occurred for years while he was a priest. In February 2005, the church added further restrictions and referred his case to the Vatican for review. Sicoli’s name had appeared in a secret 1994 memo sent to Monsignor James Molloy that was recently discovered. The list contained the name of priests who were accused of sexual misconduct with underage children with no conclusive evidence.


Siegle, Charles J.

Ordained: 1953

Reverend Siegele was named in a lawsuit settled in the 1990s accusing the priest of sexually abusing 6 to 7 boys during the 1950s and 1960s. The priest was also named in additional civil lawsuits filed in 2004 and a 2006 class action suit that was dismissed by the lower court. One accuser came forward saying that Siegele had plied him with alcohol before sodomizing him when he was a boy. In 2019, this victim received funds from the time-limited compensation fund at the archdiocese.

Current Status: Died 1/1989


Smart, Raymond W.

Ordained: 1970

In January 2019, the church announced that the reverend was “not suitable for ministry. The announcement came after allegations arose that he had sexually assaulted an underage child in the 1980s. The church placed Smart on leave beginning in 1995. Smart was accused twice of inappropriate conduct. However, the church found the accusations of sexually assaulting an underage child unsubstantiated. The church did restrict Reverend Smart’s access to church facilities.

Current Status: Retired 2002


Smith, Edward J.

Ordained: 1973

In 2002, allegations arose that Father Smith sexually assaulted a Philadelphia High School male student in the early 1980s. The victim also stated that he had witnessed Smith sexually abusing two other boys while another priest was present. Smith was accused of sexually abusing by four other alleged victims who reported the abuse occurred in Delaware. In 2005, a Delaware civil lawsuit named Smith as a defendant. However, the court mostly dismissed the suit in 2006. In March 2007, a victim was awarded $41 million in a jury verdict that was settled by the diocese the following year.

Current Status: Restricted from ministry


Smith, Thomas J.

Ordained: 1973

In 2002 and 2005, Rev. Thomas J Smith was accused of sexually assaulting at least three boys ages 12 and 13-years old during the 1970s/80s. The church found the allegations not to be credible. However, when more allegations arose, the archdiocese found the testimony credible. In 2012, one man testified at trial that the priest took him along with another boy on an RV trip where they spent the night in the hotel and played strip poker with the priest. The victim stated that Father Smith sexually assaulted him during the night.

Current Status: Laicized 3/29/07


Sobotka, DePaul

Ordained: 1963

Sobotka’s name appeared on the archdiocese’s 1994 list of priests accused of abusing innocent victims that first came to light in 2002. Sobotka taught at Philadelphia Archbishop

Current Status: Retired


Steingraber, Louis M.

Ordained: 1973

The Archdiocese of Philadelphia placed Steingraber on leave in 1983 due to allegations. Accusations arose of the priest sexually abusing two boys in 1982 while they were in their early teens and another sixteen-year-old boy on a different occasion. The church reassigned Steingraber to another position before leaving his active ministry in 1984.

Current Status: Died: 9/1987 at age 41


Swierzy, Michael W.

Ordained: 1975

In 2004, the diocese found credible evidence that Reverend Swierzy had engaged in sexual behavior with minors. In 1998, Swierzy pled guilty to corrupting the morals of minors. The former principal of a high school received five years’ probation. Since then, other accusations have arisen. The church placed the priest on leave between 1997 and 2003. A civil suit was filed before March 2002 naming Swierzy as a defendant. In early 2005, the church announced Swierzy’s laicization.

Current Status: Died 7/2005


Talocci, Peter

Ordained: 1986

In March 2011, the archdiocese placed Reverend Talocci, along with twenty other priests, on administrative leave pending investigations involving alleged sexual abuse with minors. Talocci was last assigned at St. Patrick’s in Malvern as the parochial vicar. In December 2013, the review board was unable to prove that the accusations were credible. However, Talocci was charged with violating the standards of ministerial behavior.

Current Status: Permanently removed from ministry


Taraborelli, Carmen M.

Ordained: 1970

In 1999, the church became aware of an accusation of Reverend Taraborelli sexually assaulting a fifth-grade boy in the 1980s. In 1999, the archdiocese placed the priest on administrative leave.

Current Status: Ministry permanently restricted (2004)


Thomas, Joseph W.

Ordained: 1955

In 2018, the diocese released Reverend Thomas’s name among credibly accused priests associated with sexual abuse of underage children. The church placed the priest on administrative leave three times from 1963 through 1972 and removed his faculties in 1972 before he left the active ministry.

Current Status: Died 12/1996


Trauger, Francis X.

Ordained: 1972

Two victims accused Father Trauger of sexually assaulting them in the early 1980s, and another alleged sexual abuse involving the priest in 1991. The boys allege that the priest took them on overnight trips and made them share a bed with him. Two of the accused were Tullytown altar boys when they were eleven and twelve years old. The church removed Trauger in 2003.  A lawsuit filed in 2019 alleges that when an eleven-year-old victim told his parents Reverend Father Traeger had sexually assaulted him, his parents told him to discuss the problem with Father John Schmeer, who then also sexually assaulted him.

Current Status: Laicized 5/2005


Vath, Aloysius H.

Ordained: 1940

Reverend Vath’s name was included in a 1994 secret memo identifying priests accused of sexual misconduct with minors that lack conclusive evidence. Church officials confirmed that Vath had sexually abused underage boys for about eighteen years.

Current Status: Died before 1994


Walls, David E.

Ordained: 1960

In 1987 and 1988, Reverend Walls molested an adolescent sister and brother along with another individual. From 1988 through 2002, the church placed Walls on administrative leave with restrictions and added further restrictions two years later. The priest was laicized in July 2006.

Current Status: Died 2/2009


Wiejata, Sylwester

Ordained: 1996

In 2000, Reverend Wiejata was accused of sexually assaulting a thirteen-year-old girl. In 1999, the church sent the priest to receive treatment and placed him on leave in 2000. Wiejata presented testimony at the trial of Monsignor Lynn (2012), stating he was attracted to women, especially married women. The priest indicated that he had admitted to the Monsignor that he had abused the daughter of a woman with whom he was having an affair. The Monsignor said he did not report the incident to the police or attempt to learn the identity of the underage child because he doubted the woman’s credibility who told him about the priest’s actions.

Current Status: Laicized 2002


Wisniewski, Thomas J.

Ordained: 1974

Accusations arose involving Reverend Wisniewski sexually assaulting a fifteen-year-old boy between 1983 and 1987. The church placed the priest on leave in 2002 with restrictions and increased the restrictions in 2004. The priest was permanently restricted from ministry. Wisniewski’s name was on the secret 1994 memo released in 2012 involving clergy members who were guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor.

Current Status: Permanently restricted from ministry


A Lengthy History of Sexual Abuse Allegations

For centuries, the Catholic Church has dealt with accusations involving their clergy members sexually assaulting innocent children. In the 1940s, the public became aware of how dangerous the problem was when the Church opened the Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete. The New Mexico-based Retreat Center provided treatment to religious leaders struggling with personal challenges of sexual misconduct and substance abuse.

Before the Retreat Center was opened, Bishops in their local Diocese handled cases internally, even after credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor were validated. The Retreat Center provided an opportunity to remove the sexual assaulter from the congregation and place him on administrative leave. However, Bishops and pastors rarely told parishioners that there had been a predator priest in their midst. This lack of transparency ensured that those victimized would remain silent and created an atmosphere for other abusers to continue molesting others on notice.

In 2004, the John Jay College of Criminal Justice released a study that showed that there were likely over 4000 catholic clergy members in America that abused. The study revealed that these priests, brothers, deacons, nuns, and other clergy members and laypersons were credibly accused of sexually molesting victims beginning in the 1950s.

The Physical and Emotional Toll on Sexual Abuse Survivors

Often, innocent children and young adults who fell prey to a predatory priest carried the emotional weight and physical pain of their experience for the remaining years of their lives. Many Archdiocesan clergy sexual abuse survivors remain quiet out of embarrassment and never discuss what they feel inside.

Like most sexual abusers, many predatory priests choose their victims because they are young, innocent, and naïve. The sexual assaulter often goes after the most vulnerable members of the congregation and uses the advantage of their religious position in the community to strike out and abuse. Some victims will not take a stand to tell others what happened so that the abuse can be reported to authorities.

In the aftermath, the sexual abuse victim often requires years of therapy to process the horrific experience. Others remain quiet and never discuss out loud what happened. As a result, they could develop high anxiety, eating disorders, ongoing depression, and a loss of faith. Even if the predator is brought to justice and faces prosecution, no amount of financial compensation can erase what occurred. However, stepping forward to point out the abuser can stop his or her future actions and protect potential victims from harm.

Archdiocese of Philadelphia Sexual Abuse Attorneys Are Here to Help

The cover-up by the Church in the United States under the guidance of Pope Francis almost guarantees of the predatory priest will never be caught and brought to justice. However, sexual abuse victims who have survived molestation in Pennsylvania’s Roman Catholic Dioceses have other legal options. Many victims choose to pursue the predatory priest in a civil suit filed against their abuser in their Diocese. While these legal battles are often intense, they can produce successful outcomes.

If you are a sexual abuse survivor harmed by a Philadelphia Archdiocesan clergy, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is here to help you receive financial compensation. Contact us today at (888) 424-5757 to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation held in confidence in a safe environment.

There are new opportunities for claimants to work around the Pennsylvania statute of limitations to file a claim against the Church and priest with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor. The predator might be in active ministry, on administrative leave, removed from the priesthood, or deceased.

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