Scranton Clergy Sexual Abuse Lawyer
Many parishioners are drawn to the Roman Catholic Church to receive guidance and instruction on expressing their faith. They attend Mass to hear teachings, share Holy Communion, and follow their faith journey with the congregation. Unfortunately, allegations of abuse involving a Catholic diocese has become a severe problem in the United States and worldwide.
For decades, Church officials have stonewalled efforts to publicize the names of predatory priests or take efforts to ensure the children remain safe in Church, school, and other activities. Cardinals, Bishops, Pastors, other priests, deacons, and sisters have failed to report accusations of clerical abuse. Most cases of sexual assault in the Church are never reported to local law enforcement.
It often takes months or years for victims of sexual abuse to come forward to speak about what happened. In response, it may be years before the Diocese Review Board verifies the credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or turn the information over to a grand jury investigation. By that time, the statute of limitations might have expired, limiting the legal options the sexual abuse survivor has to seek justice.
Scranton Diocese Sexual Abuse Attorneys Can Maximize Your Compensation
With our years of experience, a clergy abuse attorney with Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC can assist victims of sexual abuse in a Pennsylvania church, ensuring they receive monetary compensation for their injuries. To date, we have collected over $250 million in negotiated settlements and jury trial verdicts on behalf of our clients. We handle every case through a contingency fee arrangement. This agreement ensures you will be charged legal fees only after we have successfully resolved your case. Personal injury is all we do.
After the release of a statewide grand jury report, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton developed a compensation fund (Independent Survivor Compensation Program). The new compensation program was created to assist survivors of sexual abuse, including those who already filed legal action against the Church. Other programs were created outside of Scranton and Northeast Pennsylvania, including in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Harrisburg.
Children Are at Greatest Risk of Clergy Sexual Abuse
Most sexual abuse survivors were under eighteen years of age when the horrific event or events involving a member of the Diocesan clergy occurred. While some predatory priests are removed from active ministry and placed on administrative leave, others are allow6ed to stay around their sexual abuse victims without supervision.
The Roman Catholic Church, under the guidance of Pope Francis, often fails to protect victims of sexual abuse. Most of these survivors were harmed by Church leaders, including the Bishop, pastor, parish priest, brother, deacon, nun, or other religious leaders or laypersons.
The list below details information of religious leaders in the Diocese of Scranton with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or young adult. This information was gathered by the Diocese, the Pennsylvania Catholic Church, the Vatican under Pope Francis, and the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (Snap).
A 2018 Grand Jury Report
In August 2018, details of a grand jury investigation were released to the public that included the list of 301 religious leaders in Pennsylvania. The list in the 884-page report included fifty-nine Diocesan clergy members from the Scranton Diocese with credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or young adult. The fifty-nine priests and other religious leaders named in the report were previously assigned or are still working in eleven counties, including Bradford, Lucerne, Lackawanna, Monroe, Lycoming, Sullivan, Pike, Susquehanna, Wayne, Tioga, and Wyoming.
The report revealed that six of the dioceses in Pennsylvania had brushed aside the widespread sexual abuse incidents occurring in Catholic parishes statewide. The disturbing grand jury report identified thousands of victims of sexual abuse by priests in active ministry, retired, deceased, or placed on administrative leave by the Bishop of Scranton.
The grand jury report contains recommendations, including eliminating the Pennsylvania statute of limitations involving underage abuse victims. Another recommendation was to extend the window of opportunity for victims of sexual abuse to file a civil lawsuit for compensation. Also, the grand jury recommended lifting restrictions that blocked victims from reporting what occurred to local law enforcement as a part of the negotiated civil lawsuit agreement.
Covering up Sexual Abuse & Victim-Blaming the Survivor
Without the proper guidance from Pope Francis, Cardinals, Bishops, Pastors, and others, Church officials have worked to cover-up cases of sexual abuse involving their clergy. Also, the Church has used society’s attitude toward sexually active individuals outside of marriage against the survivors of sexual assault to feed into victim-blaming behavior.
Everyone must report information concerning a sexual assault to the proper authorities to ensure the predator is held criminally accountable. This effort protects victims of clergy. However, for centuries, Church officials have kept credible allegations of sexual abuse of a minor or young adult hidden away from the religious community. While this conflict of interest maintains the Church’s positive image, their religious authority protects the predatory priest while abandoning the victim.
Victims Suffer Ongoing Trauma
Typically, the reason a sexual abuser assaults vulnerable children and young adults is because they can express their power over others. These predators use the Church-provided power of a trusted authority as a weapon against the defenseless. The clergy abuser selects their victim with deliberate targeting and picks those who will likely never report what happened nor ever speak of it out loud.
The sense of victimization the young person experienced often creates ongoing trauma that can take years or decades to resolve. Many survivors of child sexual abuse will develop challenging personal relationships as they mature and deal with ongoing anxiety, lifelong depression, and thoughts of suicide. The sense of anger, confusion, or feeling lost might take years of therapy. Sadly, Diocesan officials often turn away from the victim who comes to them for financial assistance to receive the counseling they need to move on.
Scranton Diocese Sexual Abuse Lawyers Help Find Justice
If you are a sexual assault victim, Rosenfeld Injury Lawyers LLC is here to help. We have assisted victims of sexual abuse, ensuring they receive financial compensation through a civil suit. Contact us now to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation to discuss your case in a confidential setting. Let a Pennsylvania sexual abuse lawyer work on your behalf to ensure you receive the justice you deserve.
Did a predatory priest or another clergy member sexually assault you years or decades ago? With our years of experience, we can sidestep many of the restrictions associated with the Pennsylvania statute of limitations to file a claim on your behalf. All the information you share with our law office will remain confidential. We handle cases where the predator is currently in active ministry, deceased, on administrative leave, retired, or no longer associated with the Catholic Church.