Recent scandals surrounding the Catholic Church reflect widespread clergy abuse in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. The abuse continued for decades, often going unreported or ignored. The Church failed to protect thousands of victims, instead engaging in a cover-up to protect guilty clergy members. Some predator priests were relocated to remote parishes or non-English speaking communities, while others were allowed to retire silently. Many were also allowed to continue presiding at the altar despite settlements against them for the abuse of children.
One such priest presides at St. Joseph Church in Middletown, New York. The Archdiocese of New York settled two claims of sexual abuse against the priest by teenage boys whom he was counseling in 1967. One of the boys committed suicide in 2015, after what his wife calls a decades-long battle with the effects of his abuse.
Although the archbishop of the New York Archdiocese has promised aggressive handling of sex abuse allegations, the priest has been allowed to continue in active ministry despite the serious credible allegations against him. According to the archdiocese, this is because of a judgment on the priest’s character made by the church-sponsored Independent Reconciliation and Compensation Program.
The church’s spokesman says that the priest will be allowed to continue working while the case is reopened and investigated because he was already suspended during an earlier investigation in 2002.
The priest continues not only to administer sacraments, but also to teach college students and to participate in Courage, an “apostolate” teaching abstinence from homosexual activity.
If you are a survivor of sexual abuse by a priest or another member of the church, contact a Scranton clergy abuse lawyer at Williams Cedar. Our compassionate attorneys are dedicated to protecting our clients’ rights and holding predators accountable. From our offices in Philadelphia and Haddonfield, New Jersey, we represent victims of clergy abuse in Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Johnstown, Eerie, Scranton, and Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania. For a free and confidential consultation, please submit an online inquiry or call us at 215-557-0099.