Father Joseph Tisch
Diocese of Alexandria
- St. Francis Cabrini Church (Alexandria, LA)
- Mater Dolorosa Church (Plaucheville, LA)
- St. Joseph High School (Plaucheville, LA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph Tisch
In February 2019, the Diocese of Alexandria publicly named Fr. Joseph Tisch on its list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. According to the list, Fr. Tisch was accused of abuse in 2014. During the course of the investigation of that allegation, which related to misconduct in 1967, additional allegations of abuse were discovered in Tisch’s personnel file.
In 2014, the Permanent Review Board—which evaluates all allegations of clerical sexual misconduct involving minors, reviewed the allegation. The diocese did not say whether the allegation was deemed credible, nor has it released more details about the nature and scope of the allegation. A later review of Fr. Tisch’s file, however, revealed evidence of more sexual abuse, the diocese said. The Permanent Review Board investigated the evidence and deemed it credible.
Fr. Joseph Tisch’s “Departure” from Active Ministry and Continued Involvement with Minors
In the brief time he served in Alexandria, Fr. Tisch spent most of his time as the director of St. Joseph High School in Plaucheville. News reports from 1975 state that Fr. Joseph Tisch eventually left the priesthood (laicization) and moved to Florida to work in child welfare. This is fact is confirmed by the Diocese of Alexandria in its 2019 list. While in Florida, Fr. Tisch directed “Operation Headstart,” a federal program for poor preschool children.
Fr. Tisch’s move to Florida and subsequent involvement with welfare programs did not necessarily mean he was no longer serving as a priest. The Diocese of Alexandria stated that Fr. Tisch “publicly separated from the church.” However, news reports from Florida indicate that he was still active. According to sources, Fr. Tisch served as a priest of the Liberal Catholic Community of Teilhard de Chardin in Cocoa and the Liberal Church of St. Pierre in Melbourne. Sources also say Fr. Tisch continued to address a variety of congregations with his clerical title.
Fr. Joseph Tisch died August 28, 2007, at the Atlantic Shores Nursing and Rehab Center.
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