Father Joseph Zmijewski
Diocese of Allentown
Assigned as follows:
- 1938-1942: St. Ladisalus (Philadelphia, PA)
- 1942-1961: Chaplain, Bernadine Sisters (Reading, PA)
- 1961: Defender of the Bond
- 1961-1964: St. Mary (Reading, PA)
- 1964-1967: Diocesan Liturgical Commission
- 1967: Diocesan Promoter of Justice
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Joseph Zmijewski:
Fr. Joseph Zmijewski was ordained a priest in 1936, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Allentown. According to media reports, in 2004, an adult woman reported that she had been seeing Father Joseph Zmijewski for counseling in approximately ninth grade (1950) because she was having trouble adjusting to her new school. Zmijewski, who was also a registered psychologist, was recommended to her by another priest for counseling.
Zmijewski recommended a course of hypnosis to be administered at his residence, where she could be more comfortable. According to the victim, the first three tries to hypnotize her were not successful and she was frustrated when he insisted she continue coming to see him. The fourth time, she pretended she was hypnotized to get it over with. Thinking she was hypnotized, Zmijewski directed her to undress. She was terrified and complied, ultimately standing in front him nude. He left the room for a short period of time and then returned, telling her to get dressed. She never returned to him for counseling.
Because the incident occurred before the Diocese of Allentown was formed in 1961, it was referred to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia for investigation.
In 2018, Zmijewski was named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury report.
Zmijewski died in 1968.
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