Father Michael C. Romero
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Ordained: October 1977
Assigned as follows:
- 10/13/1977-2/23/1978: Parochial Vicar, North American Martyrs, Monroeville, PA
- 2/24/1978-7/07/1982: Parochial Vicar, Immaculate Conception, Washington, PA
- 7/08/1982-6/02/1985: Parochial Vicar, St. Veronica, Ambridge, PA
- 6/03/1985-3/15/1990: Parochial Vicar, St. Basil, Carrick, PA
- 3/15/1990-6/17/2000: Leave of Absence
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Michael C. Romero:
The first allegation of sexual abuse against Father Michael C. Romero surfaced in June 2013. A memorandum indicated that the Diocese of Pittsburgh received a telephone call from a woman that advised that her boyfriend was sexually abused by Romero when Romero was assigned to Immaculate Conception.
The woman advised that her boyfriend’s mother had previously contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh to report the abuse and to obtain referral information to help her son. The mother had provided some information about her son and asked if the Diocese would be able to help him. It was represented that the Diocese of Pittsburgh provided the mother with some referral information for the area in which her son lived. There was no report about the allegation made at that time.
The woman subsequently contacted her boyfriend’s mother and asked her to re-contact the Diocese. The mother called again and advised that her son was sexually abused by a priest and that she believed that the priest was Romero.
She stated that the abuse occurred at Immaculate Conception when her son was a student there. She stated that Romero bought her son all kinds of gifts, including a ski jacket. On one occasion many years later, her son came home for a visit and knocked a picture of himself off the wall and broke it. It was a picture of her son wearing the ski jacket.
She also reported that Romero once took her son on a trip to Cleveland and gave him alcohol. Her son got so drunk that he could not remember anything afterward. She stated that her son was now a heavy drinker and she believed that it stemmed back to the sexual abuse and his early exposure to alcohol by the priest.
In a memorandum from October 2013, the son advised that he wanted to report “questionable behavior” that occurred when he was a child.
He stated that he was an altar server at Immaculate Conception in grade school through freshman year of high school. He stated that Romero would encourage him to drink wine after mass before he returned to class. He also recalled that, on occasion, Romero also took him to the racetrack and bought him alcohol there. He recalled Romero buying him gifts, specifically, a sweat suit that Romero asked him to change into.
The male reported that other “things” happened but that he was reluctant to talk about anything else. He stated that Father John Bauer also provided him with alcohol and encouraged him to drink it. He stated that Bauer would also engage him in “wrestling” matches.
He recalled that Romero and Bauer would talk about masturbation a lot in front of him and the other young boys. The male stated that he has spent his life dealing with issues of alcohol abuse and addiction. He attributed it to his early exposure to alcohol by Romero and Bauer.
A letter in the file revealed that the Diocese forwarded the victim’s information to the Washington County District Attorney’s office on August 5, 2014.
The file also contained a January 2012 memorandum from another priest that included information about the second allegation of abuse against Romero. The priest called to report that he had received a telephone call from a male victim who alleged that he was sexually abused by Romero while he was a parishioner at Immaculate Conception.
Romero died in 2000 and his burial location is unknown.
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