Recent reports have uncovered decades of abuse by Catholic priests and other religious figures across the country. Based on a two-year investigation into six Pennsylvania dioceses, the Pennsylvania Attorney General estimates that there were more than 1,000 child victims of abuse dating back to 1947 in Pennsylvania alone.
Clergy abuse victims in California are now also coming forward, calling for an investigation into the Catholic Archdiocese of Los Angeles, and its role in the cover-up of child sex abuse by Catholic priests.
Instead of confronting the abuse, Catholic church leaders in California implemented what one legal advocate calls a “geographic solution” to the problem – they simply relocated predator priests to non-English speaking immigrant communities. Survivors hope that a legal investigation into this practice will reveal the wide-sweeping extent of the cover-up.
Files turned over by Catholic officials in a settlement against the L.A. Archdiocese contained evidence of repeated predator relocations by leaders in the community. Higher-ups had a habit of sending alleged abusers into immigrant communities, where crimes are more likely to go unreported, especially by undocumented immigrants.
Immigrant Latinx Catholics often looked to the Church for protection and advocacy. Tragically, church leaders instead facilitated the abuse, and failed to be the guardian that they needed.
The experienced Allentown clergy abuse lawyers at Williams Cedar are currently working on a case involving a retired Carbon County priest, former bishop, and the Roman Catholic Diocese of Allentown. The plaintiff, a Lehigh County man, asserts that he suffered abuse between 1999 and 2001 while serving as an altar boy at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel parish.
According to the lawsuit, the Diocese was first notified of the priest’s sexual abuse of a 14-year old boy in 1991. Allegedly, despite the priest admitted to molesting the boy, the Diocese did not discipline the priest, report the abuse to authorities, or warn parishioners about his conduct. Instead, the Diocese sent the priest to a Congregation of the Servants of the Paraclete facility in New Mexico for evaluation and treatment.
The priest was returned to active ministry in 1993, despite the first victim’s reiterated complaint. Six years later, in 1999, the priest allegedly began abusing the victim in the current suit. In 2002, the Diocese received yet another complaint from a survivor who claims he was abused by the priest between 1977 and 1988.
If you were the victim of abuse by a priest or other member of the clergy, contact an Allentown clergy abuse lawyer at Williams Cedar. To arrange a free and confidential consultation, please complete our online contact form or call 215-557-0099 today. We represent clients in the communities of Allentown, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Harrisburg, Greensburg, Johnstown, Eerie, Scranton, Wilkes-Barre, and throughout Pennsylvania and South Jersey.