Father Rudolph M. Silvers
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Removed from ministry: 2002
Assigned as follows:
- 6/27/1994-2/25/2002: Pastor, St. Ann, Bulger
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Rudolph M. Silvers:
According to the Observer-Reporter, The first allegation of sexual abuse involving Father Rudolph M. Silvers occurred in November 1988, when an 18-year-old male reported that Silvers had sexually fondled him when he was between the ages of 12 and 15.
He further reported that Silvers pinned him down and had “taken advantage of him.” He stated that he felt overwhelmed and that people did not believe him. The victim subsequently requested counseling but was informed by Father Rutkowski that there were no funds available for counseling. Silvers denied the allegation.
In March 2002, the victim met with officials from the Diocese of Pittsburgh to provide details of his abuse by Silvers. He explained that his relationship with Silvers began when he was 13-years-old in 1977. His family lived across the street from St. Sylvester and the victim was one of the kids that hung around the rectory.
He reported that it was not uncommon for Silvers to “rough house” with the boys and sometimes he would “reach into the boys’ shorts and feel around.” The victim stated that eventually, this behavior evolved into more one-on-one activity between Silvers and him.
The victim recalled that Silvers was a “significant presence” in his life and that Silvers would tease him in front of the other boys about his sexual inexperience. This made the victim feel inadequate compared with his peers. The victim reported that Silvers would rub his beard over his chest and nibble and lick the victim’s neck.
On one particular occasion when the victim was 15, Silvers became more sexually aggressive. He pinned the victim down by putting his arms behind him. Silvers then kneeled over him and reached down and grabbed his genitals. After this sexual assault, the victim’s life spiraled out of control. He ran away from home several times but eventually graduated from high school in December of 1981. He then began counseling.
In April 2002, Silvers was confronted with the allegations. He denied any sexual contact. When confronted with the fact that the victim had traveled to St. Anne’s to confront him, Silvers became vague and evasive, claiming that while he had some recollection of the visit, he could not recall the content of the conversation.
Eventually, the Diocese of Pittsburgh forwarded a check to the victim in the amount of $96,750.00 for compensation for counseling received from 1979 through the present. There was also a promise of future counseling if needed.
It is unknown whether Silvers is living or deceased, but his last known location was in Turtle Creek, Pennsylvania.
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