Pittsburg Clergy Sexual Abuse Attorneys
For over twenty years, the public, United States Justice Department, and law enforcement have scrutinized the Roman Catholic Church’s handling of predatory priests. As of 2020, in Pennsylvania, over 575 Catholic priests have credible accusations that they sexually abused a minor or young adult. Many of these incidents occurred over the last seven decades in Allegheny County, Butler County, Armstrong County, Beaver County, Westmoreland County, and Washington County.
In 2018, the Pennsylvania grand jury investigation released its report through the Attorney General’s office. The documents revealed the names of catholic clergy members with credible accusations of sexually assaulting minors and young adults. Dioceses in Pennsylvania, including the Diocese of Pittsburg and Diocese of Harrisburg, created compensation funds to provide financial relief to sexual assault survivors. An independent review board helps identify victims who are eligible to participate in the compensation program.
The compensation funds program was initiated through the guidance of the Vatican and Pope Francis to ensure that victims received treatment and counseling to help in their recovery and healing. However, many sexual abuse survivors are filing civil lawsuits to hold Church officials, the Reverend’s religious order, and the predatory priest accountable.
Pittsburg Diocese Sexual Abuse Attorney
After the release of the grand jury findings, many states, including Pennsylvania, initiated laws to extend the statute of limitations. The extension provides relief to victims of child abuse who were sexually assaulted by religious leaders decades ago. This change in the law has helped victims eager to pursue civil action against the priest who caused their injuries and hold the Catholic Church responsible for the cover-up.
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC provides legal assistance to find justice on behalf of our clients to ensure they receive the compensation they deserve. We provide legal advice and representation. Our team of compassionate attorneys will listen to your story to ensure your rights and confidentiality are protected. Using our years of experience, we know the laws of Pennsylvania and the United States to resolve your case successfully.
New Sexual Abuse Lawsuits Filed against Pittsburgh Diocese
In April 2020, a New Hampshire man filed a civil lawsuit against the Pittsburgh Diocese. The man accuses three religious leaders, including Reverend Edward C. Maliszewski, of sexually abusing him during the 1960s into the 1970s. The suit names the three priests as defendants along with Bishop David Zubik and the Diocese for “protecting child sex abusers.” Father Maliszewski passed away in 2006.
The sixty-two-year-old alleged victim stated he was sexually assaulted for years by the three priests. The plaintiff alleges the incidents of child abuse occurred when he was a seven or eight-year-old Turtle Creek St Coleman’s Catholic School student.
The victim also states that he was sexually assaulted at age fourteen while a Collier Woodville State Hospital patient and at fifteen when he was at Shenango New Castle Youth Development Center.
From the time of the sexual assault, the victim only knew the two other predatory priests as “Father.” The sexual abuse survivor’s attorney states that Church officials at the Diocese of Pittsburg refused to identify the names of the religious leaders working at those institutions involved in the alleged abuse.
The man accuses the priests of child sexual abuse that occurred in the victim’s boyhood home. The victim states the assault happened during his sixth-grade year before he was removed from the school because officials stated he had “ongoing behavioral problems.”
Clergy Sexual Abuse Remains a Current Problem
In August 2019, the Diocese of Pittsburg placed Rev. Robert Cedolia on administrative leave after Church officials became aware of allegations of inappropriate sexual contact. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette revealed that Reverend once served parishioners at the Plum, PA Our Lady of Joy Parish. When the allegations arose, he was working as an administrator for parishes in Pleasant Hills, Jefferson Hills, West Mifflin, and Clairton.
Accusations involving Father Cedolia’s behavior of alleged sexual assault with an underage child arose through the Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program. The program provides compensation funds to innocent victims sexually harmed by religious leaders. Currently, Cedolia is not in active ministry and has been removed from the congregation to a temporary residence.
2018 Grand Jury Report Clergy Abuse Pittsburg
In August 2018, a nearly 900-page grand jury report released to the public revealed widespread sexual assault occurring in nearly every Pennsylvania dioceses, including the Diocese of Pittsburg. That same month, Bishop Zubik stated he would release the names of the predator priests with credible allegations of sexually assaulting minors. The investigators worked for over two years and found credible evidence that over 1000 children were victimized by priests, bishops, cardinals, brothers, sisters, laypeople, and other religious leaders.
The list of Diocese of Pittsburgh clergy sexual assaulters is among over 300 “predator priests” added to an existing list of 250 abusers identified over the last seventy years. In 2005, the results of another grand jury investigation headed by the District Attorney’s Office in Philadelphia identified to Cardinals in the Roman Catholic Church who had concealed evidence of sexual assault by clergymen. These cases occurred between 1967 in 2000. At that time, Cardinal Donald Wuerl served the Diocese of Pittsburgh as Bishop.
A follow-up report generated in 2011 found that many of the priests accused of child sex abuse remained in active ministry with access to minors. The 2016 Grand Jury released a report identifying widespread sexual abuse at the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, where Church officials covered up the evidence.
Hiring a Diocese of Pittsburgh Sexual Abuse Attorney
Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC has recovered over $250 million in compensation on behalf of our clients. Our trial lawyers have presented evidence at trial and negotiated settlement out of court to hold the defendants accountable for compensation.
If you, or a loved one, were victimized through sexual assault caused by a clergy member, we can help. Contact us today to discuss your options to take legal action. We will discuss your case in a confidential setting to ensure your privacy while we protect your rights. We handle cases where the predator priest’s current status is “in active ministry,” removed from the priesthood, on administrative leave of absence, retired, or deceased.
List of Church Officials Accused of Sexual Abuse in Pittsburg Diocese
Adams, Alvin J.
A 50-year-old accuser claimed the priest had molested her in the 1970s when she was 16 years old. The Catholic Diocese of Pittsburg revoked Adams’ assignment as a chaplain in his parish in 2010 after receiving complaints from parents with children at the Pittsburg, PA convent-run daycare center.
Current Status: Restricted assignment with supervision
Adams, James R.
In 1992, a man accused Father Adams of sexual assault in the 1970s. The Diocese withdrew Adams’ Morningside, PA ministerial faculties in 1992 and dismissed him from ministry in 2003.
Current Status: Died 2011
Armstrong, James L.
In 2009, the Diocese of Pittsburg received contact from a victim who requested counseling after alleging sexual abuse by Armstrong for years, including him and other homeless boys. The Priest allegedly gave the boys money, alcohol, and drugs in exchange for sex.
Current Status: Died 2012
Bauer, John M.
Father Bauer denied giving three young boys alcohol while on a trip to Columbus, Ohio, where one boy was sexually molested.
Current Status: Case forwarded to Washington County District Attorney’s Office in 2014
Bevilacqua, Anthony (Cardinal)
Pope John Paul II appointed Bevilacqua Archbishop in 1987 and later a Cardinal in 1991, years after accusations of sexual abuse were filed by a San Diego woman who claimed that she had been assaulted between five and thirteen years of age beginning in 1978.
Current Status: Died 2012
Reverend Binder was one of eight Catholic clerics public exposed as credibly accused child molesters working at North Catholic High School (Pittsburgh) after his death.
Current Status: Deceased
Brueckner, John E.
In 2016, the Diocese of Pittsburg notified the Westmoreland County District Attorney’s Office that the priest had sexually assaulted a prepubescent boy between 1947 and 1951. The notification came decades after the priest’s death.
Current Status: Died 1960
The Diocese subpoenaed records that reflect that Reverend Burchianti had allegedly inappropriate contact with eight young boys between 1967 and 1993 that included oral and anal sex.
Current Status: Died 2013
Castelucci, Robert J.
Allegations arose of Reverend Castelucci engaging in inappropriate sexual contact with more than one minor. One victim stated the priest molested him at the rectory at St. Mary’s.
Current Status: Currently residing in the Diocese of Youngstown
Catullo, Mauro J.
The Diocese released subpoenaed records revealing Reverend Catullo inappropriately touched three young boys while at four different parishes. One victim was twelve years old in 1998 when the priest exposed the victim to homosexual pornography. One lawsuit settled in November 2006 for $250,000
Current Status: Died: 2005 Heart Attack
Cedolia, Robert J.
In 2019, The Diocese of Pittsburgh found credible evidence involving allegations of sexual abuse involving Reverend Cedolia and an underage child in the 1990s.
Current Status: Placed on leave 8/2019
Chatt, Charles J.
A 36-year-old victim accused Reverend Chatt of sexual molestation for over six years beginning in 1982. At the time, the victim was an altar boy at Our Lady of Loreto Church in Brookline.
Current Status: Left ministry 1992
Cippola/Cipola, Anthony J.
Father Cipolla was first accused of sexually abusing children in 1978 involving 9-year-old and 12-year-old victims. That year, the victims’ mother called the Pittsburgh Police Department that filed criminal charges. The church laicized the priest in September 2002.
Current Status: Died 2016
Costello, Bernard B.
In 2018, the archdiocese placed Reverend Costello on leave after finding credible evidence of sexual abuse involving a child in the mid-1960s. The case was sent to the Vatican for review.
Current Status: Removed from ministry 8/2018
Crowley, John David
Records from the diocese revealed that Father Crowley needs “constant supervision” after a complaint in 1992 by a mother with her twin adult daughters involving incidents of sexual abuse when the daughters were minors. A separate allegation involving an 11 or 12-year-old boy arose in 6/2008.
Current Status: Resigned: 2003 Died: 2006
Dacal, Rosendo F.
The Deacon pleaded guilty in October 2019 to criminal solicitation of sexual abuse and child prior fee charges and must serve two years’ probation and perform community service after registering as a sex offender.
Current Status: Pleaded Guilty to Two Felonies 1/2019
The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.
Current Status: Died 8/1989
Demsher, Ferdinand B.
A victim accused the priest of sexual abuse occurring from 1975 to 1976 at Saint Mary of the Assumption Church when the child was 13 to 14 years old.
Current Status: Died 1983
Diskin, Myles Eric
The priest was part of a lawsuit accusing the Pittsburgh Diocese of protecting Father Diskin, who molested minors. Diskin was accused of sexually abusing a minor in the 1970s. Although the Church removed the priest from ministry in 2002, the reasons given were never specific.
Current Status: Removed from ministry 2002
Dolan, Jason R.
The former Byzantine Catholic pastor admitted to possessing child pornography and pleaded guilty in federal court, and 2005. Pastor Dolan was sentenced to thirty months in prison and 2/2006 and placed on lifetime probation.
Current Status: Remains on the sex offender registry
Dorsch, Richard J.
In July 2010, a 39-year-old man alleging that a former priest had sexually abused him in 1982 at All Saints Church in Etna committed suicide after treatment had stopped. This case was part of a $1.25 million settlement paid by the diocese involving 32 plaintiffs abuse by 17 priests, including Dorsch.
Current Status: Resigned 1996
In 2018, the diocese placed 74-year-old Pastor Downs on administrative leave after an accusation of sexually abusing a minor years ago. The pastor denied the allegation.
Current Status: Retired 7/2018
Dzermejko, David F.
The court incarcerated Reverend Dzermejko in Devens, Massachusetts, at the Federal Medical Center after sentencing in the US District Court in 2014 for possession of more than 100 images of child pornography. The church removed the priest in 2009 because of allegations of sexually abusing children.
Current Status: Served three years federal prison beginning in April 2014 followed by 12 years’ probation
Esposito, Ralph J.
A lawsuit was filed in 2002, alleging Father Esposito molested a boy for over three years at McKee’s Rocks Mother of Sorrow parish beginning in 1973. At that time, the boy was ten years old. The church transferred the priest to the Diocese of Little Rock in 1978, saying they had never received the allegation against the Reverend.
Current Status: Retired 1980
Feltz, Joseph F.
The Pittsburgh diocese placed Reverend Feltz on administrative leave in 2018 following accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor dating back to the mid-1980s. Lawsuit documents indicate that the reverend’s case is part of “a ring of predatory priests” identified in the state grand jury report.
Current Status: Placed on leave 11/2018
Fitzgerald, John P. (Jack)
In 2014, the diocese placed Reverend Fitzgerald on leave while a pastor at Our Lady of Peace due to an allegation of abuse that had occurred in the 1990s. The Vatican had concluded the charge was not proven.
Current Status: Retired 2017
Ganter, Joseph M.
The archdiocese found credible evidence years after Reverend Ganter’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. An 80-year-old man contacted the archdiocese in 2008 accusing Ganter of sexual abuse in the 1930s when the victim was ten years old and an altar boy at Saint Athanasius. In 1945, the Justice of the Peace investigated other sexual abuse allegations.
Current Status: Presumed dead
Geinzer, John A.
In 1995, the church became aware of an accusation that Reverend Geinzer fondled a child parishioner in 1980 when the boy was 13 years old. In 2014, a mother complained to the church about the priest’s conduct around her 8-year-old son, who showed too much interest in how her son looked in his clothing. The mother said that the priest began touching her child. Other evidence showed allegations that the priest had an unnatural interest in young boys. The diocese found the evidence inconclusive.
Current Status: Listed as active in the archdiocese of Baltimore 4/2019
Ginder, Charles Richard
On multiple occasions, a man contacted the diocese threatening to sue over the Father Ginder’s inappropriate sexual activity and expected reimbursement of the expenses of medication and counseling incurred because of the abuse. In 2002, a 50-year-old male reported being sexually abused by the priest when he was between 15 and 17 years of age. Multiple other victims also reported sexual abuse by the priest.
Current Status: Died 1984
Girdis, Charles C.
In 2019, a lawsuit was filed against the diocese alleging sexual assault by Father Girdis, and another priest (Father Larry Smith), who repeatedly abused the boy during the 1970s at twelve years of age. At the time, the victim was living at the Holy Family Institute.
Current Status: Died 2003
Graham, James G.
In 2012, the diocese placed Father Graham on administrative leave during the investigation involving allegations of sexual abuse with a minor, when the boy was fifteen years old. The church immediately notified the District Attorney’s Office.
Current Status: Died 2015
Hartman, Bernard Joseph
In 1999, Catholic Brother Hartman admitted abusing a child in the 1970s in Victoria, Australia. Even so, law enforcement never interviewed him, and he continued to work for the church until the US. Church officials developed a “safety plan” to ensure he was kept away from “children, adolescents, or vulnerable women.” After returning to Australia in 2013, Hartman was convicted of sustained sexual abuse of minors and was released in 2017 with one year suspended.
Current Status: Released from prison 2017
Hildebrand, William Charles
Reverend Hildebrand was part of a sexual abuse case involving five Catholic Brothers who decades ago worked at North Catholic High School. In 2014, four victims reported Father Hildebrand abused them from 1952 through 1956. One victim stated that the priest had been his Latin teacher and made him stay after school, pulling down his pants and groping him.
Current Status: Died 1979
In 2001, a victim filed a lawsuit accusing Father Hoehl of sexual misconduct. The diocese received its first allegation of sexual abuse against the priest in May 1986. The church immediately removed Hoehl from ministry in 1987. The priest was involved in a series of lawsuits filed against the Pittsburgh diocese.
Current Status: Resigned from the Priesthood 11/1/1988
Huber, John J.
The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor when the victim was in the fourth or fifth grade. A victim told the diocese and 2009 that Reverend Huber sexually assaulted him as a boy as he was “counseling with him” and performing oral sex before giving him $20.
Current Status: Died 1998
Huff, Edward G.
In 1994, a former priest was charged for sexually molesting six youths in Lawrence County and inappropriately touching a Swissvale boy. The following year, Huff faced charges of corruption of minors and attempted indecent assault. Other families complained in February 1992 of inappropriate behavior with their sons. Huff resigned from the priesthood and pled guilty to the 1994 charges.
Current Status: Pleaded guilty and sentenced to 15 months to 5 years in prison
The diocese found credible evidence years after Monsignor Joyce’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. One case involved inappropriately touching a boy during the mid-1960s, including heavy touching and naked massages. The victim filed suit against the diocese in 2018.
Current Status: Died 1969
In 2016, a woman reported Reverend Justi became sexually aroused when she (the victim) was a 17-year-old nursing student working at Sewickley Valley Hospital in June 1969, when he was a patient, and she was giving a sponge bath. Afterward, the priest began sending the victim suggested notes and letters that were found by her mother and reported to Justi’s superiors. A second incident occurred in 1982 with the same victim, when the priest was a patient in physical therapy (Ambridge) proceeded to undress and refused to leave. A third incident involved the priest arriving at the female’s home unannounced, entering, and standing in the living room naked. The victim called the police.
Current Status: Died 2009
Kaczmarczyk, Bernard J.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grant Jury Report found credible evidence to accuse the priest of inappropriate sexual activity.
Current Status: Unknown
Karabin, Joseph D.
A 30-year-old man accused Reverend Karabin of molesting him when he was an eighth-grade altar boy in 1983 and 1984 at Saint Albert the Great Church in Baldwin Borough. The priest admitted to sexually abusing two other underage male victims. A lawsuit filed in April 2004 was part of the Diocese 2007 $1.25 million settlement involving 17 priests abusing 32 plaintiffs.
Current Status: Withdrew from the Ministry (2002)
Accusations by two related victims accused Marianist John Keegan of sexual molestation from 1957 through 1961. One victim was a North Catholic High School student when the priest fondled his genitals and masturbated him. Multiple victims came forward to report the priest had sexually abused them during the same time. The diocese shared the information with the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office and the Marianist Provincial. Keegan was born in 1925, and his whereabouts are unknown.
Current Status: Whereabouts unknown
Marianist Brother William Kiefer faced accusations of sexual abuse at the Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic High School from 1956 and 1962. Evidence shows that the priest sexually abused at least one individual at the high school.
Current Status: Deceased
Klein is one of eight Catholic Cleric Brothers publicly accused sexual abusers who worked at North Catholic High School in Pittsburgh. One victim alleges Klein abused them between 1940 and 1947.
Current Status: Died 1997
Krawczyk, Henry R.
In 1986, the church reprimanded Reverend Krawczyk for providing marijuana and alcohol to minors and making sexual advances to underage children and an 18-year-old man. He was reprimanded again in 1992 for giving beer to a young child. The diocese found the evidence credible but stated the complaints could not be substantiated. The church settled a civil lawsuit in January 2006. However, in November 2006, the diocese became aware that the priest allegedly sexually abused two brothers. One brother died by suicide in August 2006.
Current Status: Received seven years’ probation
Kryston, Edward L.
The 2008 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report revealed that the diocese became aware of Reverend Kryston’s inappropriate sexual contact with minors as early as 1984 involving girls in grade school and high school, at Saint Pius X parish. The church reassigned Father Kryston to another parish in 2004 where complaints arose that the priest was “drinking and fooling around girls, arranging a dinner for two in the rectory with an eighth- grade girl, [and asking students] how they would feel if they were naked answering the telephone.” In 2002, the diocese placed him on leave and transferred him to St. John Vianney Manor, located close to a high school.
Current Status: Living at St. John Vianney Manor
In 2008, a female altar girl reported Reverend Kumar kissed her on the lips numerous times and used his tongue. Kumar then asked the girl for her phone number while giving her a gift and business card. Other children witnessed the event. The priest admitted to his inappropriate sexual behavior, saying he was attempting to recruit the girl for the convent. The victim’s family did not want to file charges.
The diocese found credible evidence years after Reverend Kurutz’s death that he participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor. In 1996, a 46-year-old female contacted the church saying Kurutz had sexually abused her and her sister during the late 50s and early 60s. The victim stated her sister walked in on Kurutz having sex with their mother.
Current Status: Died 1997
Lang, Hugh J.
The diocese placed the former pastor of Saint Therese of Lisieux in Munhall on leave following allegations that Father Lang sexually abused an 11-year-old altar boy in 2001. The child reported that Lang took the boy into the church basement, stated that he was a troublemaker, and ordered him to take off his clothes before sexually abusing him. Lang denied the allegations but was arrested in January 2019 and found guilty at trial that year. In February 2020, the court sentenced Lang to 9 to 23 months and 29 days in state prison.
Current Status: Retired 2006 and sentenced in February 2022 of up to 23 months and 29 days in prison.
Leech, George T.
In 2018, the diocese released the Leech’s name among credibly accused priests, volunteers, and laypeople associated with sexual abuse of underage children.
Current Status: Unknown
Lelonis, Richard M.
In September 2018, the diocese suspended Reverend Lelonis from ministry after receiving information that the priest had sexually assaulted two boys in the early 1970s and 1980. While the church could not substantiate the allegations, the diocese found the evidence credible. Lelonis denied the accusations, including he had abused one child and threatened to kill him if he told. The priest did admit he “had an attraction to minors.” The diocese restricted the priest from ministry in 2002 and reassigned him in 1995 to the diocesan Tribunal.
Current Status: Died 10/2019
In 2018, the PA Grand Jury Report released the Reverend Leonard’s name among credibly accused priests, volunteers, and laypeople associated with sexual abuse of underage children. The diocese began receiving complaints in 1989 and 1993 about the priest’s inappropriate sexual behavior toward children. Many parents were complaining about the priest’s relationship with their fourteen-year-old son and that the priest went swimming naked with their son and other boys.
Current Status: On leave of absence since 11/2003
Lewandowski, Casimir F.
The diocese found credible evidence years after the priest’s death that he participated in sexual abuse with a minor. In February 2016, a sixty-four-year-old woman alleged the priest sexually assaulted her when she was in the sixth grade at about twelve years of age when Father Lewandowski was at Madonna of Czestochowa parish.
Current Status: Died 1978
In January 2005, a male victim filed a civil lawsuit alleging that Reverend Lukasik fondled him after giving him alcohol at St. Mary’s Church in McKeesport, PA, when he was a boy of eleven years old, during the early to mid-1960s.
Current Status: Unknown
Maloney, John P.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Maloney sexually assaulting innocent victims.
Current Status: Unknown
May, Julius F.
In 2014, seven Marianist Brothers at North Catholic in Pittsburgh faced allegations of sexual abuse, including Julius May, in incidents that occurred at the school from 1960 to 1970. Complaints by two former students indicate that May abused them. May was principal and taught at numerous high schools in various locations, including Philadelphia PA, Brooklyn, NY, Covington KY, NY, Pittsburgh PA, Hamilton OH, Chester PA, and Dayton OH.
Current Status: Died 7/1970
McCashin, William J.
In 2004, a man filed a civil suit alleging McCashin sexually molested him in 1965 when he was eight years old at Saint Philip Parish in Crafton, when the priest was seventy-five years old. The victim was part of the September 2007 Pittsburgh diocese $1.25 million settlement that compensated thirty-two victims allegedly abused by seventeen clergy members.
Current Status: Died 1967
McGee, Dominic E.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend McGee, who allegedly molested two brothers in the early to mid-1970s. At that time, at least one victim attended Canevin High School.
Current Status: Unknown
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend McKenna sexually abusing at least four individuals. In 1992, allegation arose involving the abuse of two teenage brothers during the 1970s. A 1999 lawsuit filed by a state correctional institution at Pittsburgh inmate claims that the priest sexually assaulted the suit’s plaintiff while he was in prison. A report dated 2002 from a woman alleges that McKenna sexually assaulted her son in 1975. In 2004, the priest withdrew from ministry and was diagnosed with ephebophilia (primary sexual interest in fifteen and nineteen-year-olds). A lawsuit filed in 2019 alleges Father McKenna sexually abused an altar boy in 1973/75.
Current Status: Unknown
McIlvane, Donald W.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Mcllvane. In 2008, a forty-three-year-old man told the diocese that Mcllvane performed oral sex on him while he was in the third grade in 1973, then gave him five dollars. The victim stated the sexual abuse continued between 1973 and 1977 over at least forty times. Church officials could not substantiate the allegation but compensated the victim with $5000, saying the payment was not meant to be a settlement.
Current Status: Died 2014
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend McMahon and an underage minor. In 2004, a 54-year-old female informed the diocese that Father McMahon sexually assaulted her on a few occasions while at Saint Pamphilus. In 2014, a 63-year-old male told the diocese that McMahon acted inappropriately toward him when he was an 11 to 14-year-old altar boy in the mid-60s. The priest would invite boys alone into his friary room for wrestling. The priest, with an erection, would get on top of him.
Current Status: Died 2/2018
In 2014, four possible victims of alleged abuse by Brother Meder in the 1950s through the 1970s at North Catholic High School. Church officials say they were unaware of any allegations involving the Marianist Brother. The 2018 PA Grand Jury Report revealed that Meder had sexually abused numerous girls and boys, ages 8-11, in the 1950s and 60s.
Current Status: Died 6/1976
Merrell, Arthur R.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of inappropriately touching sexual abuse involving Reverend Merrell and a boy younger than fifteen years old in 1997. In 1998, the priest admitted the allegation was true and withdrew himself from ministry. A note dated 1998 revealed a sexual relationship the priest had with a mentally ill male. The priest validated that the relationship had occurred. In 2011, Merrell was charged with fondling an underage boy and pled no contest.
Current Status: Unknown
Miller, John C.
In July 2019, the diocese acknowledged that Father Miller was suspended the year before over an allegation involving inappropriate contact with the minor, including kissing an underage girl that occurred in 2016. Church officials state the investigation was delayed over the priest’s “grave health issues.”
Current Status: The case is under review at the Vatican
Brother Mravintz was accused of sexually assaulting a North Catholic High School student in 1984 and 1985, who’d asked the Brother, a teacher, for help with his studies. The Brother is accused of hugging and fondling the youth. Even though charges include corrupting a minor and indecent assault, the church did not remove the Brother from his students or the classroom. Mravintz pled no contest after the victim refused to testify.
Current Status: Died 5/2006
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Mueller and an underage boy. In 1986, the diocese received a report from a young man indicating that the pastor of St. Bernard in Mount Lebanon had sexually assaulted him when he was thirteen or fourteen years old. The church sent Mueller to St. Luke’s Institute and withdrew his faculties in 1987. Another victim’s mother complained to church officials that the priest was paying “inappropriate attention” to her underage son. The church placed Mueller on administrative leave between 1988 and 2003.
Current Status: Died 2010
O’Brien, John/Br. Fermilian
In February 2019, the diocese received an allegation that Reverend O’Brien sexually assaulted an underage child when he was teaching at Central Catholic High school in the mid-1960s.
Current Status: Died 2004
In 2004, a woman filed a lawsuit alleging Reverend O’Connell sexually assaulted her when she was between twelve and fifteen years of age. At that time, the priest was the pastor of the parish in 1952 through 1983. An additional three female victims also filed suits that year, alleging they were sexually abused by O’Connell when they were young girls. The plaintiffs were part of the 9/2007 $1.25 million settlement involving seventeen priests allegedly abusing thirty-two plaintiffs.
Current Status: Died 1986
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend O’Donnell and an underage minor. A lawsuit alleged that O’Donnell took a young boy to the Super Bowl in Miami in 1976. At that time, the priest sexually abused the boy repeatedly. The accuser stated that sexual assault, including anal and oral intercourse, began when he was twelve years old.
Current Status: Living in Fort Myers, Florida (2018)
O’Malley, William P. III
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend O’Malley. In 2018, allegations involving two other minors arose, claiming sexual abuse occurring at St. Francis de Sales and Saint Canice parishes.
Current Status: Died 2008
Paone, Ernest C.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Paone. The report raised concerns about the priest while he had been in seminary. The pastor at Saint Monica’s told church officials that he prevented Paone from being arrested on charges of “molesting young boys… and illegal use of guns with even younger parishioners.” The church placed Paone on a leave of absence and then reassigned him to the Los Angeles Archdiocese, then onto the San Diego Diocese. In 1994, new reports of abuse involving a Pennsylvania boy arose with incidents occurring in the 1960s. A victim filed a lawsuit in November 2018.
Current Status: Died 5/2012
Parme, George J.
In 2004, a possible victim filed a lawsuit against the Diocese of Pittsburg, alleging Reverend Parme sexually assaulted him in 1954 when he was an underage altar boy at St. Aloysius in Wilmerding. The victim was part of the diocese’s $1.25 million settlement in 2007 that compensated thirty-two victims allegedly abused by seventeen priests.
Current Status: Died 3/2002
Pilarski, Peter R.
The diocese found credible evidence that Pilarski participated in inappropriate sexual behavior with a minor.
Current Status: Unknown
Pindel, Paul E.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Pindel. In 2002, the diocese received a report that the priest had sexually assaulted a Saint William’s eighth or ninth-grader during the 1960s. The report indicated that Pindel took boys to his farm and gave them wine before performing oral sex. In 2003, the diocese was made aware of a report of sexual assault involving a Saint William’s school eighth-grader around 1965. In 2011, the priest was accused of sexually abusing a 6 to 9-year-old child in 1980/84. The victim stated the priest would take him out of class and over to the rectory to abuse him while an usher watched the door. The third report in April 2012 revealed that the priest sexually abused an underage boy in 1957/60. A woman sued in January 2019, claiming the priest abused her in 1982 when she was fifteen years old. The victim stated that her parents informed the diocese, but Church officials took no action.
Current Status: Died 1991
In 1988, Pucci was charged with indecent sexual assault of an underage boy in 1986 while at the Marianna parish house. The charge included conspiracy for allowing Father Zula to engage in sexual activity with the boy. Prosecutors dropped the charges due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. However, church officials banned Pucci from public ministry. The priest retired in February 1992. In 2002, a report arose, revealing that Pucci fondled an underage male in 1988. An additional three men came forward alleging separate issues that the preset sexually assaulted them when they were boys at Coraopolis parish. The 2018 PA Grand Jury revealed evidence that the priest was part of a ring of predators who “raped children, shared intelligence on potential victims and [made] child porn.” The priest was accused of using chains, whips, and alcohol as part of the abuse. Some victims filed a lawsuit in 2019 claiming they had been abused in the early 1980s for over three years at Saint Adolphus in McDonald.
Rebel, John W.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Rebel. In 2009, parents of an alleged victim notified the diocese that Rebel sexually assaulted their son when he was between ten and twelve years of age in the 1970s. Records show that the priest was on leave of absence from May 1973 through August 1974. The son told his parents years after the abuse occurred. The victim said that the inappropriate sexual activity happened in the boy’s bedroom in his home after mass after the priest would drive him home after CCD studies. The parents remember the son sobbing and begging not to make him go to CCD class.
Current Status: Died 3/2013
Reschick, Joseph W.
In 2018, the diocese suspended Reschick after receiving a police report involving the priest sexually abusing a minor in the mid-1980s. Reschick served parishioners for twenty-eight years at Saint Rosalie in Greenfield. In November 2019, the church deemed the allegation to be credible.
Current Status: The Vatican is reviewing the case
Rhoden, Raymond R.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Rhoden. In 2002, the diocese became aware of the report that the priest had sexually assaulted an underage boy in 1976 and 1977. The priest was a family friend. However, the boy’s parents stated they told the diocese about the abusive behavior years before and the Bishop said they would “take care of [it].” The Reverend admitted to inappropriate sexual behavior. Rhoden said he would enter the boy’s room after the child had gone to bed and fondle his genitals and perform oral sex. The church placed Rhoden on leave in May 2002 and sent him to be evaluated at St. Luke’s Institute. The priest withdrew from ministry in 2002 before retiring to Sarasota, Florida. An additional suit was filed in January 2019 alleging the priest abused a fifth-grade boy in the 1970s.
Current Status: Died 11/2006
Roemele, Carl R.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence that Roemele sexually assaulted for young boys while serving Saint William’s in June 1967. In February 1976, the church placed him “on leave.” The Reverend resigned from the ministry six months later. In 2004, the report indicated that Roemele had molested three altar boys at St. Joseph’s. One victim alleged the sexual assault started when he was in the sixth grade. An incident occurred while on at a cabin at Aleo Lake. In 2008, another report alleged Roemele abused another St. Joseph’s altar boy when he was eleven or twelve years old in 1968. The victim alleges that the sexual assault occurred for over a year at every mass and while the boy was at camp. In 2010, a woman alleged that Roemele sexually assaulted underage minors in 1969 at camp and St. Joseph’s. The woman indicated that her son began drinking when he was ten years old and died an alcoholic in 2003. Numerous lawsuits were filed in 2018 against Cardinal Wuerl and Bishop Zubik to hold the church accountable.
Current Status: Laicized 2/1978
Romero, Michael C.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Romero. In 2012, the diocese became aware that Romero had sexually abused a victim at Immaculate Conception in Washington, PA, years before when the priest was assigned to the parish. In 2012, a woman reported that the priest gave her son alcohol and sexually assaulted him when he served as an altar boy at Immaculate Conception. The victim stated that he was given gifts by Romero when he and another priest, Father John Bauer, plied him with alcohol and discussed masturbation. In March 1990, the church placed Romero on the “leave of absence” until he died ten years later.
Current Status: Died 2000
Romero, Oswald E.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Romero. In April 2006, a fifty-three-year-old male victim reported to the diocese that Romero had sexually assaulted him in 1966 or 1967 when he was 13/14 years old. At that time, Romero was at Saint Regis in Oakland, PA. The victim stated that the sexual abuse happened while Romero was supposed to be giving the boy driving lessons and instead performed oral sex and fondled the boy. The priest retired in 1993.
Current Status: Died 1997
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Father Scharf. In 2002, the church received a complaint alleging the Reverend had a foot fetish and would massage the feet of adult and minor males. The church sent Scharf for treatment at St. Luke’s Institute between 11/03 and 7/04. The priest then remained at a halfway house until the completion of his program in February 2005. While at continuing care workshops at St. Luke’s in 2005/2010, he admitted he had massaged the feet of minors then masturbated while imagining their feet.
Current Status: Living at Saint John Vianney Manor
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Father Scherer. In 1991, an adult female told the church that Scherer sexually assaulted her between 1957 and 1961 while she was a Saint Anne’s in the Castle Shannon student. A letter that was written to the student by Scherer dated October 1965 alluded to the relationship with the girl. The diocese sent Scherer to Our Lady of the Snow/Clergy House Retreat (Minnesota) for treatment. Scherer remained on sick leave between June 1965 and May 1968 before working as a hospital chaplain until he retired in 1992.
Current Status: Died 12/2007
Schulz, Raymond T.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Monsignor Schultz. In 2009, a possible victim stated Schultz sexually assaulted him in and around 1978 while he was a SS. Peter and Paul in Beaver as a school altar boy and student. At that time, the Monsignor was pastor of the parish (1966-97). The victim testified before the PA Grand Jury revealing that the sexual assault started when he was in the fourth grade and continued to the end of his seventh grade. The victim stated Schultz performed anal and oral sex on him. The Diocese Bishop met with the victim and his parents in 2012 and offered college tuition for the victim’s children, money, and funds for counseling. The man refused financial compensation because the church insisted that he sign a confidentiality agreement.
Current Status: Died 1999
Siler, Francis A.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Siler. The report indicated that the priest had “sexual problems with adolescents” in 1972. The church promptly transferred Siler to another parish. In 1985, Bishop Bevilacqua received a memo mentioning that Siler made a pass at a young boy whose father was a policeman. The church promptly removed Siler. An alleged victim confronted the priest in 1994 about being molested. The priest was hospitalized for suicidal ideation (thinking about suicide) and then sent to Saint Luke Institute Continuing Care Workshop, where he had relapsed. In 1995, a former Saint Catherine’s altar boy made allegations that Siler had sexually assaulted him when he was in the second or third grade in 1975 or 1976. Other allegations arose. A lawsuit was filed in 2018.
Current Status: Died 12/2015
Smith, Edward P.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Smith. In 2004, a woman filed a lawsuit against current and former Bishops and the Diocese of Pittsburg. The victim alleged that Smith sexually abused her when she was approximately seventeen when she sought counseling with him at Sacred Heart in Emsworth, P.A. The victim received compensation from the diocese September 2007 $1.25 million settlement that provided funds to thirty-two plaintiffs who alleged seventeen priests had abused them.
Current Status: Died 1956
Smith, Lawrence R.
In 2019, a lawsuit was filed against the diocese alleging sexual assault by Father Larry Smith and another priest who repeatedly abused the boy during the 1970s when the victim was 12 years of age. At the time, the victim was living at the Holy Family Institute.
Current Status: Retired from the ministry
Smith, Thomas E.
In December 2018, a possible female victim publicly accused Reverend Thomas Smith of sexually assaulting her when she was fifteen or sixteen years old in 1967 while a student at St. Anselm High School. The victim stated that Smith grabbed her and played with her breasts during a school dance when the lights were low.
Current Status: Died 2015
Somma Jr., James E.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Somma. A report indicates that as early as 1988, there were concerns of four potential male victims of sexual assault. That same year a possible female victim stated Somma sexually assaulted her when she was a child twenty-five years earlier. The diocese judged her testimony as “not credible.” The court later dismissed a lawsuit because the statute of limitations had expired. In 1970, the priest adopted two Vietnamese children. His obituary stated he had “a passion for children.” A civil suit filed by a victim was part of the diocese’s $1.25 million settlement (2007) that compensated thirty-two plaintiffs who allege seventeen priests had abused them.
Current Status: Died 2002
Sorenson, Bartley A.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Sorensen. In 2011, law enforcement arrested Sorensen while at St. John Fisher. A witness saw child pornography on the priest’s rectory computer and notified the diocese. More than 100 images involving prepubescent males were found on the computer. Additional charges were filed after more pornography was found during the search. The priest had been at the parish less than a month after serving nine months at Saint Ann’s Church in Castle Shannon. The priest faced a federal indictment and pled guilty in May 2012 and was sentenced to prison. In addition to a $25,000 fine, Sorensen must register permanently as a sex offender.
Current Status: 1/2013 sentenced to eight years in prison
Spangenberg, Robert E.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Spangenberg. The report revealed allegations of sexual assault involving at least two minors. In 1998, one victim’s mother stated the priest sexually assaulted her son. Church officials relocated Father Spangenberg to Florida in 1999 because of the allegations but told him he could stay in the ministry. In 2009, a man reported he had numerous sexual encounters with the priest when he was involved in prostitution and a runaway at fifteen and sixteen years old. The man stated that Spangenberg paid him to bring other young boys to the priest for sex. The man said that the priest was “a really sick guy – he would have a person urinate and defecate on him.” Spangenberg worked in Pennsylvania, Illinois, North Carolina, and Michigan.
Current Status: Died 12/2006
Spisak, Paul G.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Spisak. In October 1998, parish employees found S&M and pornography in the priest’s room with questionable photographs of two teenage boys with Spisak. The pictures were taken on vacation with school-age boys back in 1981 through 1990. The church sent Spisak to St. Luke’s in Maryland for an evaluation in 1998 but he was allowed to stay in the ministry. In 2002, allegations arose that he sexually abused a boy fifteen years before. The church removed the priest from the ministry in May 2003. In April 2006, Mall security caught and arrested Spisak videotaping a man at a urinal.
Current Status: Living at St. John Vianney Manor (2018)
Stebler, Lawrence F.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Stebler. Evidence shows that the priest sexually assaulted an eight-year-old or a nine-year-old boy during the 1960s that lasted over three years while the reverend was at St. Hillary in Washington, PA. The victim stated that Stebler was a friend of the family and would often visit the home. The victim said that the sexual assault occurred when the priest tucked the boy into bed at nighttime.
Current Status: Died 1997
Suran, Andrew J.
In 2004, a woman filed a lawsuit alleging Suran fondled her when she was eight years old. The lawsuit indicates that fourteen years later after the abuse, the victim took a teaching job at a location where the priest was assigned. At that time, Suran kissed and fondled her again. In June 2004, the second woman filed a lawsuit and alleged Suran sexually abused her when she was six years old. Both claims were included in the Diocese of Pittsburg $1.25 million settlement (2007) that compensated thirty-two plaintiffs that alleged seventeen priests abused them.
Current Status: Died 1971
Terdine, Richard Gerard
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Terdine. In December 1988, accusations arose that the preset sexually assaulted a sixteen-year-old boy who had been employed part-time at the rectory at St. Peter’s in Keesport. The victim alleges that the priest had touched his genitals on several occasions and gave him condoms and an X-rated video. The church accepted his resignation from the Parish and sent him to the St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland for an evaluation. After release from treatment, he was assigned to restricted ministry as a local hospital chaplain.
Current Status: Living at St. John Vianney Manor (2018)
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Thomas. In April 1996, Reverend Thomas was accused of sexually assaulting an underage male on numerous occasions starting in 1958 when he was assigned to Saint Hugh in Carmichaels, PA. The victim stated that a parish nun helped the priest during the abuse and that at times she sexually abused the victim separately.
Current Status: 1967
Tisak, Daniel J.
In 1998, Reverend Tisak was charged with sexually abusing a twelve-year-old child at a YMCA in Pennsylvania. The priest pleaded guilty and was sentenced to two-year’s probation and six months at St. Luke’s Institute.
Current Status: On leave
In December 2018, an allegation arose about Reverend Trichtinger sexually abusing a Seton-LaSalle high school student during the 1980s when the priest was a school counselor (1985/87). Trichtinger also served as the Central Catholic High School assistant principal (1991/95).
Current Status: Unknown
In November 2018, a lawsuit named Reverend Unger of alleged sexual abuse that occurred decades ago at Sacred Heart Elementary School.
Current Status: Presume deceased
Unnamed Priest in Pittsburgh #1
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving an unnamed priest. In 2004, the priest was accused of sexually abusing a boy seventy years earlier. The victim was a World War II veteran.
Current Status: Died 1958
Valentine, Daniel A.
In May 2002, Father Valentine took a personal leave of absence from St. James Catholic Church in Sewickley. Allegations arose after the diocese received a complaint on Facebook indicating that the priest had inappropriately posted comments to a minor. The church responded that Valentine’s postings were not criminal activity, but a matter of poor judgment. Evidence indicates that there may be an offering of pornography and alcohol to a minor. The priest resigned as the parish pastor and remains on leave.
Current Status: Remains on leave
In 1997, allegations arose that Sister Alberta (Bernadine) Veri sexually assaulted a high school senior in 1972. The former sister denied the charges. The alleged victim stated that the Diocese and the Sister’s Order asked her to remain silent about the sexual abuse in 1994. The lawsuit was dismissed due to the expiration of the statute of limitations. However, the Sister’s Order offered the victim a settlement that required the signing of a confidentiality agreement to keep her quiet. The victim refused. In 1980, Sister Veri took a leave of absence and afterward left the Order.
Current Status: Left the Sister’s Order after 1980
Wellinger, John W.
In February 1986, the church sent Reverend Wellinger to St. Luke’s in Maryland for substance abuse treatment. The following year, the priest allegedly gave alcohol and drugs to an eighteen-year-old parishioner who required hospitalization. In 1989, there were concerns from a parishioner that Wellinger was giving alcohol and drugs to teenagers and had an underage man staying over at the rectory. The church sent the priest to Missouri in 1991 after attempting to perform oral sex on a young adult without consent. The church sent the priest to therapy again between September 1994 and March 1995 before he went on personal leave in June 1995. A few months later, a young male alleged victim said the priest sexually assaulted him in 1989 when he was eleven years old. Another victim came forward saying that the priest had assaulted him in June 1991 when he was thirteen years old. In 2004, a lawsuit was filed. The claim was part of the diocese’s $1.25 million settlement (2007) that compensated thirty-two plaintiffs that had been abused by seventeen priests.
Current Status: Died 2011
Wichmanowski, Joseph S.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Wichmanowski. A 2004 lawsuit accuses the priest of sexually assaulting a girl for over a year that started when she was twelve years old. While the timeframe remains unclear, the abuse likely happened while he was serving at Saint Stanislaus in Ambridge between 1953 and 1957. The lawsuit alleges that the Reverend made the underage female dress provocatively, provided her wine, and forced her to perform oral sex on him. The victim says that the sexual assault happened several times a week. The victim’s claim was part of the $1.25 million settlement the diocese resolved in September 2007. Compensation was provided to thirty-two plaintiffs who alleged seventeen priests abused them.
Current Status: Died 1977
In 2000, a complaint was formally filed alleging that Reverend Wilt made on unwanted advances toward a woman. In 2003, church officials expressed concerns, including that he kissed in touched women and girls on the mouth. In 2004, one woman filed the lawsuit alleging that Wilt had sexually molested her when she was thirteen in 1961. At that time, the girl was seeking counsel from Wilt because her father had sexually assaulted her. The priest denied accusations. The diocese investigation found the allegation unsubstantiated. The priest retired with a restricted ministry. While the diocese says that his retirement was not connected to any sexual complaint. However, the claim was part of the Diocese’s $1.25 million settlement in 2007. The church compensated thirty-two plaintiffs that alleged seventeen priests had sexually abused them.
Current Status: Retired
Wolk, Robert G.
In 1987, the diocese reported that Reverend Wolk had sexually assaulted two brothers beginning when they were twelve-year-old altar boys. The abuse continued over six years. In 1987, Father Wolk admitted to sexual relationships with the underage minors and was placed on leave. The Church sent Wolk to treatment. In October 1988, the police charged Wolk with the offenses. The victims filed lawsuits that accused Wolf, and two other priests (Fr. Pucci and Fr. Zula) to the crimes. After pleading guilty, Wolk received two concurrent sentences of 5-10 years each. Evidence shows that Wolk might have abused one of his victims in Ohio, Florida, Virginia, and Canada. Other victims have come forward.
Current Status: Possibly laicized in 2003
Yockey, William B.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Yockey. In 1991, a twenty-five-year-old alleged victim stated that Yockey sexually abused him in 1981 when he was sixteen years old. The victim reported that the priest also sexually assaulted his friend in 1983 when that victim was eighteen and in high school. The victim said that the priest took boys to his cabin for fishing since they were in the sixth grade. The priest gave the boy beer. In July 1991, Church officials removed Reverend Yockey from public ministry. In December 2013, after another allegation involving molestation arose, Church officials removed Yockey from public ministry. This victim alleges that the priest sexually abused him while he was a young boy and attending Saint Bernadette in Monroeville. In September 2018, a news outlet found the priest working at an Ashtabula, OH, Counseling Center as a clinical social worker. A lawsuit was filed that year.
Current Status: Possibly working as a clinical social worker in Ashtabula, OH
Zabowski, Theodore P.
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Zabowski. In October 1995, allegations arose that tat the priest sexually assaulted a teenage boy from 1975 through 1979. The church placed the priest on leave after acknowledging he used boys for companionship in his bed and might have possibly inappropriately touched them. The church sent the priest to St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland for treatment but reassigned him to parish ministry in 1996.
Current Status: Withdrew from ministry 7/2002
The 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report found conclusive evidence of sexual abuse involving Reverend Zirwas. In early 1987, the diocese learned of allegations involving the priest sexually assaulting children. In March 1998, the church sent the priest to St. Luke’s Institute in Mayland after receiving two reports of abusing boys ages sixteen and seventeen. Another victim came forward in 1991. The church allowed the priest to remain in ministry until placing them on leave in1994. The following year, he returned to ministry after threatening he would take legal action against the diocese. Later that year, another accusation placed him on leave. The priest relocated to Florida and then Cuba before being murdered in May 2001. A lawsuit was filed in November 2018.
Current Status: Murdered 5/2001 in Cuba
Zula, Richard F.
In September 1987, the diocese received reports of violent sexual activity occurring in a parish rectory by Reverend Zula with an underage child and three other laymen. The church sent Zula to the Institute of Living in Connecticut before placing him on permanent leave. In September 1988, two brothers filed a suit and contacted the local law enforcement. One victim states that in 1984, Father Zula, sexually molested him when he was under sixteen years old. Police arrested the priest in 1988 who pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual abuse. The court sentenced Zula to prison time to run concurrently with another charge in a separate county imposed for up to five years. The brothers settled the case out of court and signed a confidentiality agreement. Two other priests, Fr. Robert Wolk and Fr. Francis Pucci, were also accused of sexually assaulting the same victims. A lawsuit was filed in October 2018 against Cardinal Wuerl and Bishop Zubik to hold the church legally accountable for their lack of protecting children.
Current Status: Died 9/2017