Tag: Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. Robert Ryan – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Robert Ryan

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Robert Ryan Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1947

Died: 2005

Assigned as follows:

  • 1948-1956: St. Dorothy’s Church (Drexel Hill, PA)
  • 1957:          Holy Saviour Church (Linwood, PA)
  • 1958-1966: Holy Cross Church (Springfield, PA)
  • 1963:          Roman Catholic High School for Boys (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1964-1973: Cardinal O’Hara High School (Springfield, PA)
  • 1967-1975: St. Louis Church (Yeadon, PA)
  • 1974-1975: Roman Catholic High School for Boys (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1976-1994: St. Gertrude Church (West Conshohocken, PA)
  • 1995-1996: “Retired” – in residence at St. Gertrude Church (West Conshohocken, PA)
  • 1997-2005: “Retired” – in residence at St. Gabriel’s Hall (Audubon, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Robert Ryan:

Father Robert Ryan was ordained a priest in 1947 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served in multiple parishes throughout his career. According to media reports, he was accused of sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy on two occasions from approximately 1962 to 1963. At the time of the alleged abuse, Father Ryan was assigned to Holy Cross Church in Springfield, Pennsylvania, and the boy was an altar boy at the church and a student at the nearby Holy Cross School.

Details of the abuse which occurred inside Holy Cross School included Father Ryan forcing the boy to remove all of his clothing for the priest. Father Ryan then whipped the boy’s bare back and buttocks with a leather belt multiple times. Afterwards, Father Ryan put his hands on the whipped parts of the boy’s body.

The claim settled in 2020 in the low five figures. Father Ryan died in December 2005.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Dennis W. Killion – Diocese of Venice

Father Dennis W. Killion

Diocese of Venice/Oblates

Dennis Killion Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1980

Removed: 2008

Assignment History:

  • 1980-1986: Salesianum High School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1986-1990: Archbishop Wood Boys High School (Warminster, PA)
  • 1990-1991: Bishop Ireton High School (Alexandria, VA)
  • 1991-2006: Father Judge High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2006-2008: Bishop Verot High School (Fort Myers, FL)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Dennis Killion:

Father Dennis W. Killion belongs to the religious order the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, based in Wilmington and Philadelphia. Over his career, Killion worked in the Diocese of Wilmington (Delaware), Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Pennsylavania), and in the Diocese of Venice (Florida.) Killion has been named in at least ten lawsuits alleging that he sexually abused minors.

In 2008, four victims came together to file a lawsuit in the Superior Court in Wilmington, Delaware, naming Killion sexually abused them when they were teenagers, and claiming that Catholic officials knew about the abuse but did little or nothing to stop it.

According to the suit, the sexual abuse occurred between 1983 and 1986, when Fr. Dennis Killion was a teacher at Salesianum High School in Wilmington. During the summer of 1985, Killion is accused of molesting Victim 1, a former student, when he was a freshman working at the school’s bookstore. Killion allegedly put his hand down his pants, grabbed him, and ask if the student had lied to him, while threatening to squeeze harder if he lied.

According to Victim 2, Killion allegedly assaulted him from 1983 to 1986, while the student worked in the bookstore, bingo and faculty house, and during a school trip. Killion was accused of soliciting sex from the student in the confessional to “sexually exploit the victim during and after the celebration of a Holy Sacrament.” The allegations state that Killion touched and fondled the student to the point of masturbation. In addition, the victim said that Fr. Killion would give him “special” treatment including money, the teacher’s edition of schoolbooks, and free schoolbooks.

The third Victim accused Killion of sexually assaulting him from 1983 to 1986, while he worked at Salesianum’s bingo and faculty house, and on a school trip. Killion allegedly would engage in heavy petting, touching and fondling to the point of masturbation. The victim said he also received special treatment.

Victim 4 claimed that when he was a freshman in 1985, Killion first assaulted him, allegedly by taking a scooper of ice, grabbing the boy’s pants, pulling them away and saying: “It would be cold if I dropped this down your pants, wouldn’t it?” According to the suit, Killion also shoved his hand down the boy’s pants in another incident.

Two of the four victims initially reported their abuse, but were told he was going to be transferred and to just keep quiet. The lawsuit claims the diocese “created and implemented a ‘Conspiracy of Silence,’ a policy and procedure whereby any and all allegations of sexual misconduct by employees and agents would be squelched, concealed and hidden from the public, parishioners and law enforcement.”

In 2009, more reports and lawsuits were filed against Fr. Killion in Delaware. The eighth victim alleged that Killion sexually abused, harassed, and molested the victim when he was a teenager at Salesianum High School in the 1980s. The victim claims he decided to go public after all those years because he found out that Killion worked as an activities director at another high school and wanted to go public. He stated that he hopes someone of his profession coming forward will help pierce stereotypes about male victims of sexual abuse and encourage others to discuss it. This suits also accused the Catholic Church, the school and Killion’s religious order, the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales, of knowing about the alleged abuse, but allowing Killion to continue teaching.

At the time these allegations first surfaced in 2008, Killion, was working as the activities director at Bishop Verot High School in Florida. Killion was placed on administrative leave and assigned to the Oblates’ retirement facility in Childs, Maryland.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Venice in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Stanley Gana – Diocese of Orlando

Father Stanley Gana

Diocese of Orlando

Fr. Stanley Gana Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1970

Leave of Absence: 1995-1997

Inpatient treatment: 1995, 1996-1997

Laicized (removed from priesthood): 2006

Assignment History:

  • 1970-1974: Assumption B.V.M. (Feasterville, PA)
  • 1972-1974: Chaplain, Boy Scouts of America
  • 1972-1974: Archbishop Wood Boys High School
  • 1974: Sacred Heart (Phoenixville, PA)
  • 1974-1980: Ascension (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1980-1985: Our Lady of Calvary (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1985-1986 Sacred Heart (Havertown, PA)
  • 1986-1995 Our Mother of Sorrows (Bridgeport, PA)
  • 1995-1997: Leave of Absence
  • 1995-2002: Immaculate Conception (Philadelphia, PA) (in res.)
  • 1997-2002: Chaplain, Discalced Carmelite Monastery
  • 2002-2005: Leave of Absence

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father Stanley Gana:

Father Stanley Gana is a defrocked Philadelphia priest accused of molesting seven boys while on a trip to Walt Disney World in the 1980s. He stirred up some concern in an Orange County community where he owned a home from 1993 to 1999. Fr. Gana’s ties to Florida emerged in a deposition connected to a civil suit against Orlando’s Diocese. 

Of the Father Stanley Gana case, the 2005 grand jury said Gana “took advantage of altar boys, their trusting families, and vulnerable teenagers with emotional problems.”  Again and again and again, Gana’s victims and their families were threatened and intimidated when they attempted to speak up so that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia never faced the consequences of its leaders’ actions and Gana could remain a priest.  It is very clear that the Gana matter was particularly offensive to the members of the grand jury – and it is clear why.  

GANA HIMSELF BRAGGED ABOUT ALL OF THE SEXUAL ABUSE HE GOT AWAY WITH – TO HIS OTHER VICTIMS

Gana boasted to some of his victims in the 1980s that someone reported his sexual activities with boys to the Archdiocese in the 1970s, but that he “had blocked the inquiry” by telling the Chancery that the pastor at the parish was having an affair with the parish housekeeper. He then produced women’s clothing in the rectory, and suddenly the Chancery was not interested in stirring up anything at the parish.

In late 1980, Gana himself called the Chancery to report that his own nephew had told people that he was, among other things, a homosexual and a “deviate.”  Gana told the Chancery that his family had a problem with in-fighting and the nephew was merely trying to cause problems because he had emotional problems of his own.  Gana was told to “keep a low profile,” and to look into hiring a lawyer to protect himself from the rumors. No investigation was done into whether Gana may have abused his own nephew.

IGNORING THOSE REPORTS STARTED A NIGHTMARE CHAIN OF EVENTS FOR A 13-YEAR-OLD ALTAR BOY WHO DREAMED OF BECOMING A PRIEST

Around the time he made that call to smooth over any conflict headed his way because of his nephew, Gana was abusing a 13-year-old altar boy at Our Lady of Calvary.  Gana ingratiated himself into the boy’s life by exploiting his insecurity about a speech impediment, and soon the boy’s parents readily gave permission for the honored priest to take the boy on long weekends out of state.  The child, who came from a large family, was grateful for the adult attention, though he could have done without the obese priest’s attempts to wrestle with him. Soon, the trips and the overnight stays at the rectory so the boy could serve the early mass with Gana, started to involve the priest sexually abusing the boy.  Over the next four years, the boy was abused in all manner of ways – including countless incidents of sodomy – by the priest. When a milky fluid sometimes came out of him as he sat on the toilet, his mother said it was just because he was lactose intolerant.

In 1984, the boy started at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary.  He wanted to become a priest himself. The abuse continued, but it was far less frequent because the boy was not allowed off campus very often.  Away from the constant manipulation and abuse, the boy began to plan to end the “relationship,” either by telling someone or by killing himself.      

As fate would have it, the dean of the college was Msgr. William Lynn, who eventually became Cardinal Bevilacqua’s Secretary for Clergy – and a convicted criminal for his role in the massive coverup of abuse and endangerment of children in Philadelphia.  When the boy asked for a referral to a therapist, Lynn gave it to him but did not ask any questions of the boy. He was, however, well aware of how much time the boy spent with Gana off-campus.

The boy eventually told the therapist about Gana.  Then he told two priests at the seminary about it. They said nothing.  The boy never reported the events to the police because his spiritual advisor at the graduate seminary told him that it would jeopardize his own chances of being ordained.  Somehow, the seminary rector (a fourth priest) also learned of the allegations and told the Chancery. He also told the Chancery that the boy was telling other seminarians what Gana did to him.  

Not long after, the Chancery took serious and swift action – but not against Gana. On Cardinal Bevilacqua’s personal command, the Chancery launched a full-scale “investigation” into the boy and rumors that he had “homosexual” contact with another seminarian. The Chancery told the boy that his chances of being ordained hung in the balance; if the rumors were true, his dream of being a priest (and his 7.5 years of preparation in college and graduate school) would be over.  

THE ARCHDIOCESE AGREED, THE BOY – SOON TO BE A FELLOW PRIEST- WAS “DAMAGED GOODS” AND GANA NEEDED THEIR PROTECTION

No one spoke with Gana about the boy’s allegations.  They were too focused on running the boy out of the priesthood.  Ultimately, the Chancery officials involved in the investigation told Bevilacqua that the boy was “damaged goods” who considered suing the Archdiocese for sexual abuse.  He was directed to leave the seminary; he would never be ordained anywhere in Pennsylvania.

Lynn would later testify before the 2005 grand jury; he told them that he believed the boy made up the story about Gana, despite all of the corroborating evidence to the contrary.

When he was finally interviewed about the allegations in 1993, Gana admitted that he “had some close calls” with boys (plural) over the years, but never had sexual contact with anyone, including the seminarian.  Lynn agreed with Gana’s conclusion that the boy simply “misinterpreted” affectionate touches, and that the boy was “troubled” due to his involvement in a “sex ring” with someone else he claimed was a victim of Gana.  According to Lynn, poor Gana was just caught up in a torrent of lies made up by men who wanted to blackmail him.

Gana remained at Our Mother of Sorrows in Bridgeport.  One of the Chancery officials who investigated these same allegations would letter tell a grand jury that it would have been “prudent” to be concerned about future victims, and Lynn agreed, but instead, they did nothing.

THE 1995 ALLEGATIONS

In 1995, another man came to the Archdiocese of Philadelphia to report that he was sexually abused by Gana at Ascension in 1977, when he was 14 years old.  He had just told his mom that a close (adult) family friend was forcing him to engage in oral sex against his will. His mom got him into counseling and also turned to her church for support.  Gana, the assistant pastor, recommended regular meetings with the boy to help him through his recovery. Over the course of the next few months and years, Gana took his time grooming the boy and making him comfortable spending time alone (and sometimes overnight) with the priest. Gana initiated seemingly harmless physical contact that escalated and that eventually became oral sex and sodomy.  At that point, Gana had become so welcome in the family that he began abusing the boys’ brothers and a close friend.

He often bragged to all of them about all of the teenage boys he had sex with during his priesthood.  He also showed them nude photos of other boys that he said he had taken before and after having sex with them.  The man gave the Archdiocese the names of some of those other boys.  Nothing was done.

As a result of the 1995 allegations, Gana was sent for an evaluation at St. John Vianney, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests.  During the course of his evaluation, experts opined that returning him to ministry was dangerous to parishioners and to the Archdiocese because of the public relations issues that could arise.  Gana was asked to resign from his pastorate and elected to obtain inpatient treatment at Southdown, another notorious treatment facility, in Toronto.

CANADIAN TREATMENT PROFESSIONALS AGREE TO CORROBORATE THE ARCHDIOCESE OF PHILADELPHIA’S LIES SO GANA CAN RETURN TO MINISTRY

The report that came from Southdown was confusing, to say the least.  Experts there concluded that Gana was heavily addicted to drugs and alcohol and that the addiction caused him to abuse children.  No one had ever said that Gana was under the influence when he abused them – in fact, the boys had specifically denied ever seeing him drink.  Even Lynn would later testify that he was very surprised since he had never heard a suggestion of a substance abuse problem. In fact, Gana once sought a papal dispensation not to drink wine during Lenten services.  A second report assured Lynn that Gana “would not be diagnosed as a pedophile or an ephebophile, but rather as a person who acted under the influence of drugs and alcohol.”

Less than two weeks later, Gana checked out of Southdown and went to his house in Florida.  Not long after, the Chancellor in Orlando called Lynn- neighbors were very concerned about all of the students who seemed to be living there all of the sudden.  There was no response.

Three months later, Lynn would look the victim in the 1995 allegations in the eye and swear to him that Gana was in treatment at the exact moment they were meeting when he knew, with certainty, that Gana was in Florida.

Three weeks after telling that bald-faced lie, in mid-1995, Gana wrote to Lynn from Slovakia.  He felt like taking an international trip with his teenage friends from Florida.  Above all, Gana was concerned about whether he could return to ministry since he left Southdown.  Lynn assured him it would be ok as long as he never received an official diagnosis of pedophilia. Gana remained on an unauthorized leave and eventually returned to Southdown six months later.  His therapist would eventually say that Gana was neither a pedophile or an ephebophile and that his risk for future sexual misconduct was “minimal.” The therapist was certain of his conclusions, particularly since he was only aware of the three victims Lynn told him about – and not the countless others that Lynn knew about. He did not correct any o of the other lies that Gana told the therapist either.  

In 1997, two years after he first reported his abuse (and that of his friend and brothers), almost nothing had been done by the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  He offered to produce the other men to give statements, but Lynn told him not to discuss the allegations with them. He also said that they could do nothing because Gana denied all of the allegations, even though Lynn knew that Gana had admitted to the abuse while in therapy.

Despite the man’s numerous requests to meet with Cardinal Bevilacqua, the Cardinal refused to meet with the victim “lest it set a precedent i.e. for the Cardinal to meet with such individuals.”  Lynn put the man off by referring him to Catholic Charities to help him find a job.

Sister Pat Kelly, to whom the victim was referred for employment and housing assistance, grilled the victim about his abuse experience and asked for privileged therapy information.  She expressed that she did not see his experience with Gana as not abuse because it seemed to her that the victim was sexually satisfied by it.

GANA’S POST-SOUTHDOWN TREATMENT LIFE INACTIVE MINISTRY

Around the same time, Gana was due to be discharged from his second stint at Southdown.  Lynn would tell Bevilacqua about the therapist’s conclusions, and also that they (as an Archdiocese) should encourage Gana to seek ministry outside of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, presumably so the media would not be as interested in the story.   Alternatively, he should be assigned as a chaplain to a religious community to minimize his profile.

Cardinal Bevilacqua assigned Gana as chaplain to the Carmelite nuns.   He would reside at Immaculate Conception parish, “along with other priests who were recovering from alcoholism and other problems.”  The pastor was never told that Gana had a history of abusing children and should not be around them. He was told by Lynn that Gana was free to do supply ministry at any Philadelphia parish that needed a priest, except, coincidentally, any of the parishes where Gana had already been assigned.  

That prohibition was empty – less than a month later, Gana was celebrating mass, complete with altar boys, at Ascension parish in Kensington where the group of brothers and their friend was abused.  

THE FORMER SEMINARIAN FINDS OUT ABOUT THE ASCENSION MASS AND AGAIN PLEADS FOR THE ARCHDIOCESE TO PROTECT KIDS INSTEAD OF GANA

The ousted seminarian learned of the Ascension mass from a relative and immediately wrote to the Cardinal – he wanted to impress upon the Chancery how much of a danger Gana was.  Cardinal Bevilacqua directed Lynn to reply and invite him to the Chancery. Lynn was not to tell him that the Cardinal had read the letter personally.

At their meeting in early 1998, Lynn apologized to the man (who was also his former student) for how the allegations were handled.  Lynn told the victim that he now believed that Gana abused him now that others had accused him of similar conduct. Even a Slovakian student that was residing in Orlando told the Archdiocese he was sexually abused in “exchange” for Gana sponsoring his student visa.  He spoke of one of the brothers abused at Ascension and how he “will never be right” because of what Gana did.

Yet, despite his apparent depth of understanding the danger and the depth of its effects, Lynn reaffirmed that Gana would remain in ministry because no one ever diagnosed him as a pedophile.  

Gana celebrated Easter Mass at the Carmelite nuns’ monastery in 1998.  He was assisted by a cadre of altar boys.

ONLY THE PUBLICITY FROM THE SCANDAL IN THE ARCHDIOCESE OF BOSTON BROUGHT ABOUT GANA’S REMOVAL

By February 2002, the depth of the scandal in the Archdiocese of Boston was quickly becoming regular national news.  Suddenly, Cardinal Bevilacqua knew that scandal was possibly at his doorstep. He very quickly suspended multiple priests from ministry because the Archdiocese was suddenly “unable to provide and sustain an adequate level of supervision” for all of the accused priests in active ministry. Gana was finally suspended from ministry.   

In late 2004, faced with the possibility of involuntary laicization and a lengthy canonical trial, Gana agreed to cease all ministry and live a “supervised life of prayer and penance.”  

Apparently, that was too much supervision for Gana or too much responsibility for the Archdiocese.  Within months, Gana asked for and was granted, a dispensation from his vows as a priest.  He was formally removed from the priesthood (laicized) by the Vatican in 2006.  

Gana now resides in Orlando, Florida.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orlando in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Father Nicholas Cudemo – Diocese of Orlando

Fr. Cudemo Horowitz Law

Father Nicholas V. Cudemo

Diocese of Orlando

Ordained: 1963

Placed on leave: 1996

Laicized: 2005

Suits filed: 1992, 2005, 2011

Assignment History:

  • 1963-1968: St. Stanislaus (Lansdale, PA)
  • 1968: Our Lady of Angels (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1968-1969: Saint John Neumann High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1968-1969: St. Paul (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1969-1973: Archbishop Kennedy High School
  • 1969: SS. Cosmas/Damian (Conshohocken, PA)
  • 1969-1971: St. Helena (Center Square, PA)
  • 1971-1977: St. Titus (Norristown, PA)
  • 1973-1977: Cardinal Dougherty High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1977-1982: St. Mary Magdalen De Pazzi (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1982-1987: St. Irenaeus (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1987-1989: Epiphany (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1989-1991: King of Peace (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1991-1996: St. Callistus (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1992-1996: Administrative Leave
  • 1996-2005: Retired, Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Summary of Allegations Against Father Nicholas Cudemo:

According to the 2005 Grand Jury Report, Fr. Nicholas Cudemo raped an 11-year-old girl, molested a fifth-grader in the confessional, invoked God to seduce and shame his victims, and maintained sexually abusive relationships simultaneously with several girls from the Catholic school where he was a teacher.

Fr. Cudemo was accused of sexually abusing between 11-16 young girls in the 1960s and 1970s. According to the report, his own family sued him for molesting a cousin. Only after the victims threatened to name the Cardinal and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in a lawsuit, Father Cudemo was removed from his pastorate.

A list of some of the victims identified in evidence before the Grand Jury clarifies both Father Cudemo’s unrelenting depravity and the extent of Church leaders’ knowledge when they kept reassigning the priest. This list includes only those girls who were the subject of formal complaints made to Archdiocesan managers. It does not include girls’ names that the Archdiocese of Philadelphia learned of either secondhand from the victims who came forward or from the priest himself.

The report also notes that Fr. Cudemo was named a diagnosed pedophile in the secret 1994 memo from Wm. Lynn to Monsignor Molloy. Father Cudemo was eventually laicized in 2005. Fr. Cudemo currently resides in Orlando, Florida. According to the grand-jury report, Cudemo began bringing girls and young women to Florida for extended vacations in the late 1970s, where some of the abuse occurred.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Orlando in Florida.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Florida, contact our office today. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Florida and nationwide. We can help. 

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

 

Fr. William McCandless – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father William McCandless

Archdiocese of Philadelphia (Oblates)

William McCandless Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1994

Assignment History:

  • 2005-2010: Salesianum High School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 2010-2017: St. Charles (Monaco)
  • 2017:           De Sales University (Center Valley, PA)
  • 2018-2020: Northeast Catholic High School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Father William McCandless:

Father William McCandless was ordained a priest of the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales in 1994 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He was a former principal of a Catholic all-boys high school in Wilmington. According to media reports, in December 2020, McCandless was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of collecting thousands of images of child pornography while serving overseas and bringing them with him to the United States. He was charged with three counts of child pornography, with possession of child pornography for importation into the US, transporting child pornography in interstate and foreign commerce, and attempting to access with intent to view child pornography.

According to charging documents, McCandless amassed a collection of thousands of images of child pornography, including some involving torture, while he was working overseas in Monaco. He brought them back to the United States when he returned in January 2017. During the investigation, records show that he also conducted internet searches for child pornography and things like how to get “off the grid, “how-to disappear,” and “how to erase items from the cloud.”

McCandless pleaded not guilty to the counts during an initial court appearance in Philadelphia. If convicted, he faces as many as 60 years in prison. Fr. McCandless was ordered to be placed on home incarceration with electronic monitoring and to surrender his passport because he has frequently traveled overseas.

The investigation into Fr. McCandless has been going on for more than three years, which isn’t his first allegation. In October 2010, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP) called for his suspension when his name surfaced in court proceedings after McCandless allegedly admitted to the abuse of a 14-year-old French boy during a church camp.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Theodore Podson

Father Theodore “Ted” Podson (Piarist Fathers) 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Theodore "Ted" Podson Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1976

Removed: 2012

Assigned as follows:

  • Calasanctius School (Buffalo, NY)
  • St. Francis Catholic Church (Amarillo, TX)
  • Devon Prep School (Devon, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Theodore “Ted” Podson:

Father Theodore “Ted” Podson, a priest of the Piarist order, was ordained in 1976 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  considered a “cool” teacher for many years in the late 1970s and early 1980s at Calasanctius School for gifted children in Buffalo, NY. He was known for leading week long field trips across the country with students. 

According to media reports, in 1993, he was suspended from his position at Devon Prep School in Pennsylvania amid allegations Podson repeatedly sexually abused a male seventh or eighth grade student while on a trip to Greece. He was sent to St. Luke’s Institute, a church-run hospital in Maryland for treatment. He was not publicly identified, charged or removed from active ministry. 

In 1994, he was one of five religious order priests identified as “guilty of sexual misconduct with a minor,” on a list compiled by Monsignor William J. Lynn. By 1995, he served as pastor and prison chaplain at St. Francis Church in Amarillo, Texas. He resigned suddenly in June 2002, three days after the U.S. Conference of Bishops stated it would remove any priest who had sexually abused minors.

By 2003, Father Podson relocated to the Philippines and worked as a hospital chaplain on the island of Cebu. According to media reports, in August 2012, he was removed from ministry after a series of articles in the Philadelphia Inquirer traced his path from Buffalo, where his conduct at Calasanctius was questioned, to Philadelphia, where he was accused of sexually abusing a 13-year-old boy on a class trip. 

In August 2018, a spokesman for the Diocese of Buffalo said, “In 2003, the Diocese of Buffalo received a complaint against Father Podson alleging abuse many years earlier. In accordance with the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, the Diocese forwarded the complaint to the Piarist Provincial and to the Archdiocese of Washington where Father Podson was listed as a resident at the time.”

In November 2018, Father Podson’s name appeared on the Diocese of Buffalo’s updated list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. He was accused in 2019 in two Child Victims Act lawsuits of molesting a 12-year-old student and a 13-year-old student while he taught at Calasanctius. 

He was granted Filipino citizenship, and currently lives on a small island in the Philippines, where he has promoted himself as a mentor to teenagers and rented an apartment that he opened up to “teen scholars.” In the citizenship petition, posted online, a local legislator wrote: “Father Podson has greatly contributed to the moral, spiritual and social growth of the Philippines.”

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. John R. Liggio – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father John Liggio (Augustinian)

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

John Liggio Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1975

Removed: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • Malvern Preparatory School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John Liggio:

Father John Liggio was ordained an Augustinian priest in 1975 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.  He served as a teacher of religion and campus ministry director at Malvern Prep School. The Augustinian order, which has regional headquarters in Villanova had founded Malvern. According to media reports, in late 2002, he was placed on leave amid allegations that he repeatedly sexually abused a 15-year-old male student from 1997 through 1998 when the boy was a student at the 170-year-old private Catholic boys’ school for grades 6 through 12 in Chester County.

The lawsuit states that in December 2002, the priest’s accuser told the Malvern Prep headmaster that Father Liggio had sexually abused him, but the headmaster said he did not believe the plaintiff and would not confront Father Liggio with the allegations “because he did not want to ruin his holiday.” Father Liggio denied the allegations.

In January 2003, the District Attorney’s office launched an investigation, and in September of that year, declined to file charges citing insufficient evidence. A civil suit was filed in July 2012. It is believed Father Liggio currently lives in Hudson, FL.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Terrance Pinkowski – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Terrance Pinkowski (Franciscan)

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Terrance Pinkowski Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1949

Died: 1991

Assigned as follows:

  • Archbishop Ryan High School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Terrance Pinkowski:

Father Terrance Pinkowski was ordained a priest of the Franciscan order in 1949 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served as a teacher and counselor at Archbishop Ryan High School in Philadelphia. According to media reports, in 1992, he was named in a civil suit alleging he repeatedly sexually abused a 14-year-old student in 1976 through 1981, until he was almost 20 years old. The boy was a member of prayer group known as the Charismatics, led by the priest. 

As the boy grew up, Father Pinkowski told him that the abuse was “therapy,” a part of his spiritual preparation for ordination. The boy had planned to become a priest and Pinkowski became his mentor and spiritual counselor, as well as a close family friend.

When the alleged victim went to officials, the head of the Franciscan order promised to pay for therapy and take care of the priest, who denied the allegations. They transferred Father Pinkowski, but refused to pay for therapy. The Pennsylvania Superior Court dismissed the case, ruling that it was too late because of statute of limitations. Father Pinkowski died in 1991.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Nilo Martins (Brazil) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Nilo Martins

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Nilo Martins Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1978

Died: Unknown

Assigned as follows:

  • Incarnation of Our Lord (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception (Tingua, Brazil)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Nilo Martins:

Father Nilo Martins was a Brazilian pediatrician and ordained a Jesuit priest in 1978. He came to the United States in May 1984 from the Catholic church in Brazil, and served in the Archdiocese of PhiladelphiaAccording to media reports, in 1985, he pleaded guilty to sexual assault for raping a 12-year-old altar boy at Incarnation of Our Lord Church while he served as the assistant pastor. 

According to court records, Father Martins invited the boy up to his rectory room one Saturday afternoon. He ordered the child to undress and then anally raped him. The victim testified that as he cried out in pain, the priest kept insisting, “Tell me that you like it.” When the priest was finished, he gave the boy a puzzle as a gift and told him to get dressed and leave. 

After Father Martins’ arrest, the church sent him to its psychiatric hospital, Villa St. Joseph’s in Downingtown. At his sentencing, transcripts show the church psychiatrist said he did “not pose a threat to society,” and did “not believe further incarceration would be at all helpful.”

“The church is supposed to be about love and compassion and support,” said the victim. “I was a 12-year-old kid and not once did they ever show any concern for me,” the victim said. “They did not make any attempt to reach out to my family. Not once did they make any effort to provide any type of counseling or anything.”

Father Martins served five weeks of a 23-46 month prison sentence and was deported to Brazil, where he resumed his duties as a priest, with access to children. 

“It actually scares me to know that despite his having been convicted of sexual assault, they would keep him a position where he might do harm to other children,” said the victim who grew up to become a police officer.

Brazilian church officials claimed they had no knowledge of his Philadelphia conviction. He has reportedly left the priesthood, and since 2002 when he was 65 years old, he was blind and hospitalized in Sao Paulo. His current whereabouts are unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Charles Newman- Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Charles Newman (Franciscan) 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Charles Newman (Franciscan)  Archdiocese of Philadelphia Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1985

Removed: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • Archbishop Ryan High School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Charles Newman:

Father Charles Newman, a Franciscan friar, was ordained a priest in 1985 and served in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. He served at Archbishop Ryan High School, Philadelphia’s largest Roman Catholic high school, as a teacher, and was promoted to principal in 1993. He became president in 2002. In November 2003, he was fired for financial mismanagement.

According to media reports, in 2004, he was one of two clergy accused of repeatedly sexually abusing a 16-year-old male student between 1994 and 1996. He allegedly plied the boy with alcohol, cocaine and marijuana, and performed oral sex on him at St. Pius X Friary. He also gave the boy hush money totaling $53,000 in checks and cash, some of it funds from the high school. 

The Franciscan order removed Father Newman from active ministry and sent him for counseling and treatment for “sexual predatory conduct.” The Franciscans allegedly offered the boy $50,000 to sign a release. He filed a civil suit, but it was dismissed citing statute of limitations. 

In November 2006, Father Newman’s accuser committed suicide with a drug overdose. In December 2007, the priest was arrested on multiple counts of theft totaling $900,000 from the archdiocese and his religious order, and one count of forgery. In March 2009, he pleaded guilty and was sentenced to four years in prison, followed by 10 years’ probation.

In December 2013, Father Newman was paroled. As of January 2019, he is said to be living a life of prayer and penance.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. 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 Archdiocese of Philadelphia may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.