Fr. Charles Procopio – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Charles Procopio – Diocese of Harrisburg

Fr. Charles Procopio

Ordained: 1956

Known allegation: 1965

Retired: 1995

Died: 1997

Assigned as follows:

  • 1956            St. Theresa (New Cumberland, PA)
  • 1956-1959        St. Joseph (Danville, PA)
  • 1959-1961        St. Anthony of Padua (Lancaster, PA)
  • 1961-1962        St. Andrew (Waynesboro, PA)
  • 1962-1964        St. Joan of Arc (Hershey, PA)
  • 1964-1967        Sacred Heart of Jesus (Harrisburg, PA)
  • 1967-1968        Assumption BVM (Lancaster, PA)
  • 1968-1971        St. Rita (Fairfield, PA)
  • 1971-1979        St. Peter (Mount Carmel, PA)
  • 1979-1983        Holy Name of Jesus (Harrisburg, PA)
  • 1983-1984        St. Joseph (Hanover, PA)
  • 1984-1991        Christ the King (Benton, PA)
  • 1991-1994        St. Casimir (Kulpmont, PA)
  • 1994-1995        Villa Vianney/Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Mount Carmel, PA)

Summary of Allegations Against Fr. Charles Procopio:

According to documents reviewed by the 2018 grand jury, the Diocese of Harrisburg received an allegation of abuse involving Fr. Charles Procopio in October 1965.  The allegation was that several seventh and eighth grade girls at Sacred Heart in Harrisburg had been molested by Procopio.  Documents further showed that several of the girls had reported the incidents to the principal of the school, but nothing had been done about it.  The allegations involved unwanted kissing and breast touching, some of which was accomplished by physically overcoming the victim’s will (e.g., pushing her against a wall and using his body weight to prevent her from moving).

According to the grand jury report, the caller “stated, ‘if nothing were done about this matter, he would be forced to take it to the police.  However, he says that he would do nothing without consulting the Chancery Office.’”

The following day, the Chancery closed its “investigation” into the allegations based only upon a discussion with Procopio.  He claimed the touching was just “part of his effusive nature, imprudent by pure on his part.” The Diocese of Harrisburg concluded, “the touches were not objectively immoral but only interpreted as such by preadolescent girls.”  The girls were dismissed as having the “highly imaginative minds of pubsecent girls.”

Sickeningly, the same Harrisburg Chancey official who conducted the “investigation,” a middle-aged, supposedly-celibate male priest, wrote that he provided the following counsel to Procopio:

“A girl of that age is so conscious of her womanhood that she feels all other people likewise are constantly noticing it at all times.  She considers any touch a ‘sex’ touch. The pre-adolescent girl indulges in fantasy quite often.”

Procopio remained in ministry without restriction until his retirement in 1995.  He died in 1997.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Harrisburg now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.