Fr. Joseph Fertal (Society of the Divine Word) – Diocese of Scranton

Father Joseph Fertal
Diocese of Scranton

joseph fertal Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1959
Suspended from ministry: 1995

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph Fertal:

Father Joseph Fertal, a member of the Society of the Divine Word in the Diocese of Scranton, was accused in 1995 of molesting a 16-year-old boy in the Diocese of San Bernardino, California.

The mother of the victim sued the Catholic Church, alleging her son was sexually molested by a Fertal after she brought the boy to church for moral guidance. The lawsuit alleged that Father Joe Fertal of St. Edward Church molested the boy after his mother enrolled her son in Catechism classes. The suit was settled, and a criminal investigation was dropped for lack of evidence, according to online accounts.

In 2002, officials forced Fertal to move out of a Riverside retirement home, due to his history of inappropriate relationships with children, according to his order, the Society of the Divine Word. Fertal was relocated to a St. Louis church treatment center for priests accused of sexual misconduct.

According to a spokeswoman from the Society of the Divine Word, Fertal is living in Chicago, Illinois.

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Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Scranton. 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 Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.

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