Rinsing abused victims with holy water and making one boy pose as Jesus: Grand Jury reveals the depravity of 300 Pennsylvania priests who defiled 1,000 children – and the Catholic church covered it up
- The 900 page grand jury report is based on records from six dioceses
- It puts the ‘real number’ of child victims ‘in the thousands’
- One group of priests is accused of producing child porn and using whips on children
- The abuse ranged from groping and masturbation to anal, oral and vaginal rape
- Most of the victims were boys but there are some girls included in the report
- The clergymen tried to claim they were ‘wrestling’ with the children when they were in fact sexually assaulting them
- Two have been charged while others are either dead, previously faced charges, or can’t be prosecuted due to statute of limitation
Horrific details have emerged about predatory behavior by priests, including those who made young boys rinse their mouths with holy water to ‘purify’ them after they were forced to give oral sex and one young boy made to pose naked as Jesus while other priests took pornographic pictures and shared them with other clergymen.
A bombshell report by a grand jury in Pennsylvania has extensively detailed for the first time how 300 priests sexually abused more than 1,000 children and how church leaders, some of whom are still alive, covered it up.
The report refers to six different diocese where children were raped, plied with alcohol, or forced to perform for priests to produce pornographic material over the course of several years.
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Rev David Poulson (left). is one of two priests charged over the report. He allegedly abused two boys, aged eight and 15, for years. Rev. John Sweeney (pictured right in July 2017) after admitting forcing a boy to perform oral sex on him in 1992.
During a news conference in Harrisburg on Tuesday, State Attorney General Josh Shapiro said that one priest had molested five sisters in one family. Shapiro is seen above speaking at the podium during a news conference as victims and their families look on
The attorney general said that Catholic bishops covered up child sexual abuse by priests and reassigned them repeatedly to different parishes. ‘They allowed priests to remain active for as long as 40 years,’ he said
Most of the victims are boys but some girls are also included. According to the report, church leaders covered the abusive acts up by claiming priests or clergymen were playing around or ‘wrestling’ with the children.
‘Priests were raping little boys and girls, and the men of God who were responsible for them not only did nothing. They hid it all,’ Attorney General Josh Shapiro said at a news conference in Harrisburg.
The 800-page report said more than 300 clergy committed the abuse over a period decades, beginning in the mid-1950s.
One cleric, the Reverend David A. Soderlund, was alleged to have had sex with at least three young boys beginning in the early 1980s.
The Allentown Diocese, where he ministered, knew of the allegations, but did not report them to authorities.
‘[H]e was an altar boy (7th grade), and David, had a trailer which he kept at the Appalachian Trail Sites in Shartlesville, brought him there almost weekly, over a period of about 5 years, where they engaged in sexual acts,’ one of Soderlund’s alleged victims told church officials in 1997.
‘The victim said, he was not a willing participant, but David threatened to harm or kill him.
‘David also took pictures of the victim engaged in sexual acts and threatened to use them to embarrass him.’
Another young girl was raped by a number of priests who later told her that this was God’s way of showing love, according to LeHighValleyLive.com.
A priest in Scranton sexually assaulted an underage girl, impregnated her in the process, and then arranged for her to have an abortion, the grand jury report states.
During the news conference in Harrisburg on Tuesday, Shapiro said that one priest had molested five sisters in one family.
The diocese settled with the family after requiring a confidentiality agreement, he said.
The attorney general said that Catholic bishops covered up child sexual abuse by priests and reassigned them repeatedly to different parishes.
‘They allowed priests to remain active for as long as 40 years,’ he said.
Describing the ‘weaponization of faith’ to silence victims, Shapiro cited several examples including one priest who allegedly told children ‘how Mary had to lick Jesus clean after he was born’ to groom them for oral sex.
‘Children were taught that this abuse was not only normal but that it was holy,’ Shapiro said.
Shapiro mentioned the story of Father Edward Graff.
During his 35-year stint at the Allentown Diocese, Graff raped ‘scores’ of young boys, according to the attorney general.
One of his victims, Joey, was so violently raped when he was 7 years old that he suffered injuries to his spine.
Joey became addicted to pain medication, and eventually overdosed and died.
Before his death, Joey wrote a letter to the Allentown Diocese.
In the letter, Joey said Graff killed his potential and the man he could have become.
‘The abuse did happen. The grand jurors believed Joey,’ Shapiro said to Joey’s mother, who was sitting on the stage Tuesday.
But because so many of the priests are now dead or their alleged crimes falls outside the statute of limitations, only two have been charged as a result of the investigation.
They are John Thomas Sweeney who pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a 10-year-old boy in July. In 1992, he made the fourth grader perform oral sex on him.
The other priest is David Poulson. He was charged in May with indecently assaulting two boys over the course of several years.
One was eight and the other was 15 when he allegedly began abusing them.
As part of the investigation, records from the dioceses of Allentown, Erie, Greensburg, Harrisburg, Pittsburgh and Scranton were analyzed.
Combined, the dioceses serviced more than half of Pennsylvania’s 3.2million Catholic residents
Shapiro said the two-year probe found a systematic cover-up by senior church officials in Pennsylvania and at the Vatican.
‘Today, Pennsylvanians can learn the extent of sexual abuse in the dioceses and for the first time we can begin to understand the systematic cover up by church leaders that followed,’ he said.
‘The cover-up was sophisticated.
‘And all the while, shockingly, church leadership kept records of the abuse and the cover-up.
Cardinal Donald Wuerl, seen here last year, is the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese. He was accused of helping cover up the abuse
‘These documents, from the dioceses’ own ‘Secret Archives,’ formed the backbone of this investigation,’ he said at a news conference in Harrisburg.
The abuse ranged from groping and masturbation to anal, oral and vaginal rape.
‘Church officials routinely and purposefully described the abuse as horseplay and wrestling and inappropriate conduct.
‘It was none of those things. It was child sexual abuse, including rape,’ Shapiro said.
The panel concluded that a succession of Catholic bishops and other diocesan leaders tried to shield the church from bad publicity and financial liability by covering up abuse, failing to report accused clergy to police and discouraging victims from going to law enforcement.
Yet the grand jury’s work won’t result in justice for the vast majority of those who say they were molested by priests as children.
While the probe yielded charges against two clergymen – including a priest who has since pleaded guilty, and another who allegedly forced his accuser to say confession after each sex assault – the other priests identified as perpetrators are either dead or will avoid arrest because their alleged crimes are too old to prosecute under state law.
‘We are sick over all the crimes that will go unpunished and uncompensated,’ the grand jury said.
Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro steps from the podium during a news conference at the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg on Tuesday
Judy Deaven, who says her son was a victim of sexual abuse by a priest as a boy, reacts as Shapiro speaks during a news conference Tuesday
Former priest James Faluszczak, who says he was molested by a priest as a teenager, reacts as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference
Shapiro hold hands with Judy Deaven during his news conference in Harrisburg on Tuesday
A page from the 880-page report detailing some of the alleged abuse which took place
Some of the priests’ names were redacted after they complained to the Supreme Court about being accused. Their alleged crimes are still described in detail in the report
The document comes at a time of renewed scrutiny and fresh scandal at the highest levels of the U.S. Catholic Church.
Pope Francis stripped 88-year-old Cardinal Theodore McCarrick of his title and ordered him to a lifetime of prayer and penance amid allegations that McCarrick had for years sexually abused boys and had sexual misconduct with adult seminarians.
Among those criticized in the report is Cardinal Donald Wuerl, the former longtime bishop of Pittsburgh who now leads the Washington archdiocese, for what it said was his part in the concealment of clergy sexual abuse.
Wuerl, one of the highest-profile cardinals in the United States, released a statement Tuesday that said he had ‘acted with diligence, with concern for the victims and to prevent future acts of abuse.’
He said ahead of the report’s release that he expected to be criticized in it.
The state Supreme Court had set a Tuesday deadline to publicly release a redacted version of the roughly 900-page report.
Victims of clergy sexual abuse and their family members react as Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro speaks during a news conference
Robert Mizic, 47, who says he was abused by his parish priest at a Catholic Church in suburban Philadelphia 35 yeasr ago, tears up as he watches a press conference on the grand jury report investigating sexual abuse within the Church in Pennsylvania at his home in Turtle Creek
The Most Rev. Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, discusses the release of the 40th statewide investigating grand jury clergy sex abuse report that identifies 59 religious leaders in his diocese, during a press conference in Scranton on Tuesday
Erie Catholic Bishop Lawrence T. Persico apologized to the victims and detailed steps the diocese is taking to keep abuse from occurring again. He spoke Tuesday at the St. Mark Catholic Center in Erie
Some current and former clergy named in the report went to court to prevent its release, arguing it violated their constitutional rights to reputation and due process of law.
The state Supreme Court said the public had a right to see it, but ruled the names of priests and others who objected to the findings would be blacked out pending a September hearing on their claims.
The high court says it’ll consider their claims in September, but in the meantime ordered the report released with the identities of those clergy members concealed.
Shapiro said he wants an un-redacted report to be issued.
‘Let me be very clear — my office is not satisfied with the release of a redacted report.
‘Every redaction represents an incomplete story of abuse that deserves to be told,’ he said.
A number of senior clergy reacted on Tuesday, expressing sorrow and regret over the alleged abuse.
Bishop Lawrence T. Persico, the head of the Diocese in Erie, gave a statement on Tuesday after the release of the grand jury’s report.
‘I want to express my sorrow and apologize to the victims of sexual abuse that occurred in the Diocese of Erie,’ he told WHP-TV in Harrisburg.
Persico said that the diocese was committed to a policy of transparency. He said the diocese would release the names of priests who have been credibly accused of abuse.
PEDOPHILE PRIESTS WHO WERE SHIELDED BY THE CHURCH
Monsignor Thomas J. Benestad
Monsignor Thomas J. Benestad is one of the 300 clergymen named in the grand jury report.
In 2011, the Allentown Diocese was approached by a man who alleged that Benestad sexually abused him from 1981 to 1983.
The victim was nine years old when the alleged abuse began.
The allegation was reported to the Northampton County District Attorney’s Office, which investigated the matter and found that the boy’s accusations were credible.
The victim told authorities that when he was a boy enrolled in Catholic school, he was taken out of class by a nun and sent to Benestad’s office because he had worn shorts to Confraternity of Christian Doctrine (CCD) study.
Since wearing shorts were ‘sinful,’ the boy was told to get on his knees and start praying once inside Benestad’s office.
Benestad then unzipped his pants and told the boy to give him oral sex, the grand jury report alleges.
The boy did so. Afterward, Benestad squirted holy water into the boy’s mouth and told him it was to ‘purify’ him.
No charges were ever brought because the alleged crimes took place beyond the statute of limitations.
Other alleged victims also complained about Benestad, who was allowed to continue to minister.
Benestad, who has denied all of the allegations, is now retired in Boca Raton, Florida.
Reverend Thomas J. Bender
In 1972, the Allentown Diocese received a report from a Deacon who also happened to be a Pennsylvania State Trooper.
The Deacon reported that another Trooper found Bender in a car with a male student from Nativity High School in Pottsville, where the clergyman was assigned.
Both Bender and the boy had their pants off, according to the Deacon.
Thomas J. Welsh, who was the Bishop of the Diocese, received the report. It stated that the Trooper gave Bender a ‘lecture and sent him on his way.’
When Bender was confronted about the incident, he claimed this was the first time this had happened. He was allowed to continue as a priest.
In 1984, a young male came forward and told church officials that three years earlier, when he was in seventh grade, Bender sexually abused him.
This abuse entailed oral and anal sex while Bender and the boy were in bed together.
Church officials sent Bender to psychotherapy, but still allowed him to continue to minister.
In 1986, the victim overdosed on drugs and was admitted to a psychiatric institute.
The victim and his family reported Bender to the authorities and filed a lawsuit against the church.
The next year, Bender was placed on a leave of absence. In 1988, he was arrested and convicted.
Bender was given a light sentence of probation. He was kept on a leave of absence until 2002, when he successfully applied for retirement benefits, including health insurance, life insurance, a living allowance, retreat fees, and car insurance.
In 2004, the Diocese received more reports of alleged abuse by Bender. Those allegations, some stemming from as far back as 1966, were reported to the authorities in Pennsylvania.
In 2006, Bender was arrested by an undercover police officer in New York State who posed as a ’14-year-old boy’ whom the former cleric tried to lure to a hotel room on Long Island.
He was sentenced to 10 years in prison and lifetime probation. Bender is a registered sex offender in the State of New York.
Father Ronald Yarrosh
In 2004, Father Ronald Yarrosh was found to be in possession of ‘a tremendous amount’ of child pornography.
A week later, Yarrosh was removed from his priestly ministry and ordered to undergo evaluation and treatment.
In May of that year, Pennsylvania State Police charged Yarrosh with 110 counts of sexual abuse of children.
Yarrosh was found to have had hundreds of child pornography photos, books, magazines, video, and DVDs in his possession, according to the grand jury report.
During a subsequent investigation, Yarrosh was also found to have embezzled $23,000 from his parish.
A year after his arrest, he pleaded guilty to theft and possession of child pornography.
He struck a plea bargain and agreed to serve between three and 23 months in prison.
Yarrosh ended up serving just three months. Upon his release, he registered with Pennsylvania State Police as a sex offender.
After his release from prison, Yarrosh was allowed to continue as a priest.
The Diocese granted him residence at St. Francis Villa in Orwigsburg – even though church officials considered him ‘a moderate to high risk to again use pornography and/or consort with prostitutes.’
In November 2006, authorities learned Yarrosh took trips to New York City with a seven-year-old child.
Yarrosh was also found to be in possession of child pornography – a violation of his court-ordered supervision.
Pennsylvania authorities sentenced Yarrosh to four-to-10 years behind bars.
In June 2007, the Diocese removed Yarrosh from the priesthood.
Reverend Joseph Zmijewski
In October 2004, the Allentown Diocese received a complaint from an adult woman who alleged that one of its priests sexually abused her when she was a child.
The victim told the Diocese that she was a member of the St. Mary Greek church in Reading.
She also attended Catholic school at St. Peter.
When she was in ninth grade in 1950, she met Father Joseph Zmijewski.
She said she frequently sought Zmijewski’s advice as she was having difficult meeting new friends and being acclimated to a new school.
Zmijewski came recommended by another priest because he was a registered psychologist.
The woman said that Zmijewski recommended that she come to his home in order to be treated with hypnosis.
She agreed to the hypnosis sessions.
The first three sessions did not go well and she was becoming frustrated.
During the fourth session, Zmijewski tried to hypnotize her once more. He told her to undress until she was naked, and she complied.
He then left the room while she was naked and did not return for some time.
After Zmijewski came back into the room, he instructed her to get dressed. She never returned for another session.
The woman kept the story to herself until well into adulthood.
Zmijewski died in 1968.
The Allentown Diocese referred the woman to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, which served the area at the time since there was no Allentown Diocese as of yet.
Very Reverend Henry Strassner
In August 1988, the Allentown Diocese received a complaint from a 19-year-old man who alleged that Father Henry Strassner kissed him four times on the lips ‘in the same way a woman would kiss.’
The alleged incident occurred during a counseling session which Strassner administered to the man.
Strassner, when confronted about the incident, first denied knowing the man.
But then he admitted to the claims, saying that he ‘did not intend anything sexual.’
Strassner later claimed the victim ‘was essentially parentless and I wanted to simply affirm his sense of self-worth.’
He was was sent to see a counselor who then told the Diocese that there was ‘a lot more going on here than Father Strassner has admitted.’
In 1991, the Diocese received more complaints about alleged sexual abuse of children at the hands of Strassner.
One victim claimed Strassner molested him on more than one occasion when he was between the ages of six and nine.
The victim also claimed that another priest was involved in the abuse.
Another victims gave a much more detailed description of Strassner’s behavior.
The victim’s mother invited Strassner to their home after hearing him give a lecture on drugs.
During a counseling session, the victim, who was told to trust Strassner, confided in him.
At one point, Strassner told the victim he needed to ‘touch him.’
Strassner then began to masturbate the victim and perform oral sex on him.
After this incident was reported, Strassner was reassigned to a local Catholic high school.
The Diocese possessed documents indicating that between 25 and 30 people complained they were sexually abused by Strassner.
The victims reported post-traumatic stress, drug and alcohol abuse, criminal behavior, and suicidal thoughts in the years after they were assaulted.
Strassner was never removed from his position by the church. He died in 2009.
Reverend A. Gregory Uhrig
In May 2010, a 44-year-old woman submitted a complaint to the Allentown Diocese alleging that Father A. Gregory Uhrig sexually abused her when she was a 13-year-old girl.
The woman said the abuse took place when she was a seventh-grade student at St. Anthony Catholic school in Easton.
She said at the time she was working in the parish answering telephones.
During her time spent in the office, she got to know Uhrig, who was often invited to her family’s home for dinner.
Uhrig developed a relationship with the girl, who was suffering at the time from low self-esteem.
The priest would often compliment her as a way of building up her confidence.
The relationship became more physical, as Uhrig would hug her, hold her hands, and at times even kiss her on the lips.
The touching eventually escalated to full-scale groping, as Uhrig cupped her breasts through her clothing.
Uhrig also forced the girl to touch his leg and thigh area. He even pointed out when he had an erect penis.
These incidents took place in the rectory and in Uhrig’s car.
The woman said that these incidents contributed to three failed marriages.
The Diocese apparently knew of allegations against Uhrig back in 1995 and reported them to authorities.
But he was never prosecuted due to statute of limitations.
Reverend Bruno M. Tucci
In 1991, the Allentown Diocese received a report from a male who said that he was sexually molested by Father Bruno Tucci when he was 14 years old.
Tucci tickled him and put his hands down the back of his pants, the victim said.
The priest, on a different occasion, unbuttoned his pants and the victim’s pants.
Tucci then pulled both his pants and the victim’s pants down and forced skin to skin contact.
In order to avoid suspicion, Tucci would tickle the boy in front of his parents.
The victim also said that when his parents were at church for Christmas Eve mass, Tucci took off his pants and ‘played with him.’
That same evening, when the whole family was at midnight mass, the victim served at the altar for Tucci.
When the Diocese was told of these allegations, officials confronted Tucci, who confirmed them ‘exactly as the victim reported.’
Tucci said it was ‘just touching’ and that he did not commit ‘sodomy.’
Tucci was reassigned to a church position in New Mexico. He was then allowed to return to active ministry as a pastor in Nesquehoning, Pennsylvania.
In 1993, the victim told the Diocese he wanted to confront Tucci, who was allowed to continue as a priest.
This outraged the victim.
In 2002, Tucci offered to resign. The Bishop accepted.
That same year, the Diocese received another letter from a man who said that Tucci sexually molested him when he was a minor.
The crimes took place between 1977 and 1978. Tucci responded by saying that he could not recall specific details.
In 2005, Tucci’s request for him to be laicized was granted.
Tucci was last known to be a resident in Salisbury, Maryland.
The bishop pledged to turn over all relevant information to law enforcement. Perisco also said that the diocese would offer financial help to those seeking counseling.
‘I pledge the following to the victims, the Diocese of Erie will not shroud abusers in secrecy no matter who they are or how long ago the abuse has occurred,’ said Persico.
‘We have much work to do to build trust where leaders have failed.’
It is noteworthy that Persico was the only bishop who was cited by Shapiro for praise for his handling of the grand jury report.
‘His response to the crisis gives me some hope,’ Shapiro said of Persico.
‘He was was the only one to testify to the grand jury in person.’
Persico said on Tuesday that he did not testify to win the praise of the state attorney general.
‘We did what we did because we have to move forward (and) it was the right thing to do,’ the bishop said.
The grand jury report names 41 priests who served in the Erie Diocese and who are alleged to have committed a number of sex crimes, including fondling genitals and penetrating the mouths of both young boys and girls, according to PennLive.com.
According to the grand jury, one priest who served in the diocese, Father Chester Gawronski, fondled boys and told them he was giving them a ‘cancer check.’
Even though senior diocese officials knew of the allegations, they allowed the alleged offending priests to continue to minister, the grand jury says.
Senior diocese officials, including bishops, ‘often dissuaded victims from reporting abuse to police, pressured law enforcement to terminate or avoid an investigation, or conducted their own deficient, biased investigating without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities.’
LIST OF THE 300 CLERGYMEN ACCUSED OF ABUSE OR OF COVERING IT UP IN PENNSYLVANIA
More than 300 clergymen were named in the grand jury report. The names of 24 of them were redacted at their request. All of the others are listed below by diocese.
DIOCESE OF ALLENTOWN
Reverend Thomas J. Bender
Monsignor Thomas J. Benestad
Reverend Robert G. Cofenas
Monsignor Thomas J. Benestad
Reverend Robert G. Cofenas
Reverend David Connell
Reverend Timothy Johnson
Reverend James Gaffney
Reverend Joseph Galko
Reverend Edward George Ganster , died 2014
Reverend Francis T. Gillespie
Richard J. Guiliani
Reverend Joseph D. Hulko
Monsignor William E. Jones, V. F., died 2004
Reverend Michael S. Lawrence
Reverend Joseph H. Kean
Reverend Thomas J. Kerestus, died 2014
Reverend Francis Joseph McNelis, died 2005
Reverend Gabriel Patil
Reverend Henry Paul, died 1982
Reverend Paul G. Puza
Reverend Dennis A. Rigney
Reverend Joseph A. Rock
Reverend Gerald Royer, died 2003
Reverend Charles J. Ruffenach, died 1980
Reverend J. Pascal Sabas, died 1996
Reverend William J. Shields, died 2000
Reverend Stephen F. Shigo, died 1991
Reverend David A. Soderlund
Very Reverend Henry E. Strassner, V.F., died 2009
Reverend Bruno M. Tucci
Reverend A. Gregory Uhrig
Reverend Andrew Aloysius Ulincy
Reverend Ronald Yarrosh
Reverend Joseph A. Zmijewski, D.D., died 1968
DIOCESE OF ERIE
Reverend Joseph A. Zmijewski, D.D.
Reverend Michael G. Barlet
Father Donald C. Bolton, C.S.S.R.
Reverend Robert F. Bower
Reverend Dennis Chludzinski
Father Donald Cooper, died 2011
Father Michael Robert Freeman
Reverend Gregory P. Furjanic
Father Herbert G. Gloekler, died 1985
Father Robert E. Hannon, died 2006
Monsignor James P. Hopkins
Father Barry M. Hudock
Reverend Joseph W. Jerge, died 2006
Father Stephen E. Jeselnick
Reverend Thomas C. Kelley, died 2005
Father Gary L. Ketcham
Father Thaddeus Kondzielski
Father Gerard Krebs
Father Jerry (John) Kucan
Monsignor Louis Lorei
Father Salvatore P. Luzzi
Father Richard D. Lynch, died 2000
Monsignor Daniel Martin, 2006
Reverend Leon T. Muroski
Brother Edmundus Murphy
Reverend John L. Murray
Father Giles L. Nealen, O.S.B.. died 1996
Father Jan Olowin
Father Andrew Pawlaczyk, died 1982
Reverend John A. Piatkowski, died 1970
Father David L. Poulson – CHARGED
Father John Philip Schanz, died 2010
Reverend Samuel B. Slocum
Monsignor Thomas Snyderwine
Seminarian John Tome
Father Patrick Vallimont
DIOCESE OF GREENSBURG
Father Dennis Dellamalva, died 1994
Father Gregory Flohr
Father Charles B. Guth
Father Francis Lesniak
Father Henry J. Marcinek
Father Fabian G. Oris, died 2007
Father George R. Pierce, died 2009
Father Gregory F. Premoshis
Father Thomas W. Rogersm, died 2005
Father Leonard Sanesi, died 1992
Father Roger A. Sinclair
Father Joseph L. Sredzinski, died 2015
Father John T. Sweeney – CHARGED
Reverend Joseph A. Tamilowski, died 1994
Father Roger J. Trott, died 2017
DIOCESE OF HARRISBURG
Reverend Francis J. Allen
Reverend John G. Allen
Reverend Francis A. Bach
Reverend Jesus Barajas
Reverend Richard J. Barry
Reverend James Beeman, died 2016
Reverend John Bostwick
Reverend Donald Cramer
Reverend Walter Emala, died 2008
Reverend Paul R. Fisher
Deacon Donald “Tim” Hackman
Reverend T. Ronald Haney, died 2012
Reverend John Herber
Reverend Kevin Kayda
Reverend Edward Konat
Reverend George Koychick
Reverend Thomas Kujovsky, died 2015
Reverend Thomas Lawler, died 1987
Reverend Robert Logue
Reverend David H. Luck
Reverend Monsignor Robert Maher, died 1990
Reverend Daniel Mahoney, died 2007
Reverend Guy Marsico
Reverend John M. McDevitt, died 1999
Reverend Anthony McGinley, died 2006
Reverend James McLucas
Reverend Ibarra Mercado
Reverend Charles Procopio, died 1997
Reverend Guido Miguel Quiroz Reyes, OFM, died 2006
Deacon James Rush, died 2016
Reverend Herbert Shank
Reverend Patrick Shannon
Reverend Timothy Sperber
Reverend Carl J. Steffen, died 2015
Reverend Frederick Vaughn, died 1992
Reverend Salvatore V. Zangari, died 2004
DIOCESE OF PITTSBURGH
Reverend James R. Adams, died 2011
Reverend James L. Armstrong, died 2012
Reverend John M. Bauer
Reverend John E. Brueckner, died 1960
Reverend Leo Burchianti, died 2013
Reverend Robert Castelucci
Reverend Mauro James Cautela, died 2005
Reverend Charles J. Chatt
Reverend Anthony J. Cipolla, died 2016
Reverend John P. Connor
Reverend John David Crowley, died 2006
Reverend Richard Deakin
Reverend Ferdinand B. Demsher, died 1983
Reverend Myles Eric Diskin
Father Richard J. Dorsch
Reverend David F. Dzermejko
Reverend John P. Fitzgerald
Reverend Joseph M. Ganter
Reverend John A. Genizer
Reverend Charles R. Ginder, died 1984
Reverend James G. Graham, died 2015
Brother William Hildebrand
Reverend John S. Hoehl
Reverend James Hopkins
Reverend John J. Huber, died 1998
Reverend Edward G. Huff
Monsignor Edward Joyce, died 1969
Reverend Marvin Justi, died 2009
Reverend Bernard J. Kaczmarczyk
Reverend Joseph D. Karabin
Brother John Keegan
Reverend Henry Krawczyk
Reverend Edward L. Kryston
Reverend Anujit Kumar
Reverend George Kurutz , died 1977
Reverend Fidelis Lazar
Reverend Albert Leonard
Reverend Casimir F. Lewandowski, died 1978
Reverend John P. Maloney, died 2007
Brother Julius May
Reverend Dominic McGee
Reverend Donald W. McIlvane, died 2014
Reverend Thomas McKenna
Reverend Albert McMahon
Reverend John H. McMahon, died 1993
Brother Frank Meder
Reverend Arthur R. Merrell
Reverend Joseph Mueller, died 2010
Reverend Lawrence O’Connell, died 1986
Reverend Thomas M. O’Donnell
Reverend William P. O’Malley, III, died 2008
Reverend George Parme, died 2002
Reverend Paul E. Pindel, died 1991
Reverend Francis Pucci, died 2002
Reverend John W. Rebel, died 2013
Reverend Raymond R. Rhoden,died 2006
Reverend Carl Roemele
Reverend Michael C. Romero, died 2000
Reverend Oswald E. Romero, died 1997
Reverend David Scharf
Reverend Richard Scherer,died 2007
Monsignor Raymond T. Schultz, died 1999
Reverend Francis Siler, died 2015
Reverend Rudolph M. Silvers
Reverend Edward P. Smith, died 1956
Reverend James E. Somma, M.Ed., died 2004
Reverend Bartley A. Sorensen
Reverend Robert E. Spangenberg, C.S.Sp., died 2006
Reverend Paul G. Spisak
Reverend Lawrence F. Stebler, died 1997
Reverend Richard Gerard Terdine
Reverend Charles Thomas, died 1967
Reverend John William Wellinger, died 2011
Reverend Joseph S. Wichmanowski, 1977
Reverend George A. Wilt
Reverend Robert G. Wolk
Reverend William B. Yockey
Reverend Theodore P. Zabowski
DIOCESE OF SCRANTON
Reverend Philip A. Altavilla
Reverend Girard F. Angelo, died in 2009
Reverend Mark G. Balczeniuk
Reverend Joseph P. Bonner, died 2007
Reverend Martin M. Boylan
Reverend Robert J. Brague, died 1997
Reverend Francis T. Brennan, died 1974
Reverend Joseph Bucolo
Monsignor Gerald J. Burns, died 1999
Reverend Anthony P. Conmy
Monsignor J. Peter Crynes
Reverend Raymond L. Deviney
Reverend Donald J. Dorsey, died 2007
Reverend John M. Duggan
Reverend John J. Dzurko, died 1991
Reverend James F. Farry, died 1990
Reverend James F. Fedor
Reverend Ralph N. Ferraldo, died 1997
Reverend Angelus Ferrara
Reverend Austin E. Flanagan
Reverend Joseph D. Flannery, died 2005
Reverend Martin J. Fleming, died 1950
Reverend Robert J. Gibson, died 2012
Monsignor Joseph G. Gilgallon, died 1991
Reverend Joseph A. Griffin, died 1988
Reverend P. Lawrence Homer, died 2015
Reverend Mark A. Honart
Reverend Joseph F. Houston
Reverend Francis G. Kulig
Reverend Albert M. Libertore, Jr.
Reverend John A. Madaj, died 1998
Reverend James M. McAuliffe, died 1989
Reverend Joseph F. Meighan
Reverend Russell E. Motsay
Reverend James F. Nolan, died 1957
Reverend W. Jeffrey Paulish
Reverend John A. Pender, died 2009
Reverend Mark T. Rossetti
Reverend Edward J. Shoback
Reverend Thomas P. Shoback
Reverend John J. Tamalis
Reverend Virgil B. Thetherow
Reverend Robert M. Timchak
Reverend Lawrence P. Weniger, died 1972
Reverend Joseph B. Wilson
SOCIETY OF ST JOHN
Reverend Christopher R. Clay
Reverend Eric S. Ensey
Reverend Carlos Urrutigoity
Reverend Benedict J. Van der Putten
THE PRIEST WHO WAS ‘SEXUALLY ADDICTED TO CHILDREN’
Since he was in Seminary in the early 1960s, Reverend David A. Soderlund expressed a preference to work with children.
In documents reviewed by the grand jury, complaints to the Church allege that Soderlund had sex with three boys between the ages of 12 and 13.
The earliest complaint was submitted in 1980.
The grand jury alleges that pornographic material showing photographs of Soderlund nude with young boys performing sex acts was being examined by the diocesan chancery.
Another church official, Monsignor Anthony Muntone, found negatives of the first young boy as well as photos of another young boy and ‘other pornographic material.’
In 1997, more specific details about the alleged abuse emerged from another accuser who came forward and described Soderlund’s behavior.
‘[H]e was an altar boy (7th grade), and David, had a trailer which he kept at the Appalachian Trail Sites in Shartlesville, brought him there almost weekly, over a period of about 5 years, where they engaged in sexual acts,’ the victim told church officials, who documented the statements in secret, confidential filings.
‘The victim said, he was not a willing participant, but David threatened to harm or kill him.
‘David also took pictures of the victim engaged in sexual acts and threatened to use them to embarrass him.
‘David offered to leave the priesthood, if the victim would go away with him.’
The victim told church officials that he knew of many other boys who were abused by Soderlund.
Even after the Allentown Diocese was made aware of the allegations, Soderlund was still permitted to serve as a priest in other parishes.
After being placed on either ‘sick leave’ or ‘administrative leave,’ Soderlund was reassigned.
Church documents also confirmed that prosecutors declined to charge Soderlund if the parents of the victims did not come forward.
Soderlund later admitted in court that he suffered from a ‘sexual addiction’.
After moving to Wisconsin, he was arrested and later convicted of possessing child pornography. He served time in prison.
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