Tag: Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Fr. Theodore Podson (Piarist Fathers) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Theodore Podson

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Theodore Podson 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 Podson:

Father Theodore Podson, a priest of the Piarist order, was 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 he 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. 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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. John R. Liggio (Augustinian) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father John R. Liggio

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained: 1975

Removed: 2002

Assigned as follows:

  • Malvern Preparatory School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John R. Liggio:

Father John R. Liggio, an Augustinian priest served as a teacher of religion and campus ministry director at Malvern Prep School. According to media reports, in late 2002, he was placed on leave amid allegations he repeatedly sexaully abused a 15-year-old male student from 1997 through 1998. He denied the allegations. 

In January 2003, the District Attorney’s office launched an investigation, and in September 2003, declined to file charges citing insufficient evidence. A civil suit was filed in July 2012. It is believed he 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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Terrance Pinkowski (Franciscan) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Terrance Pinkowski

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained: 1949

Died: 1991

Assigned as follows:

  • Archbishop Ryan High School (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Terrance Pinkowski:

Father Terrance Pinkowski, a priest of the Franciscan order, 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 man when he was a 14-year-old student until he was almost 20 between 1976 and 1981. 

As the boy grew up, the priest told him that the abuse was “therapy,” part of his spiritual preparation for ordination. The boy had planned to become a priest. 

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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Nilo Martins (Brazil) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Nilo Martins

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

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 Jesuit priest who came to the United States in May 1984 from the Catholic church in Brazil. According 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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Charles Newman (Franciscan) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Charles Newman

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

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, 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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

John “Jack” McDevitt – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father John “Jack” McDevitt

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained: 1966

Died: 1999

Assigned as follows:

  • 1967-1968      Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1968-1980      Northeast Catholic High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1980-1982      Bishop McDevitt HS (Harrisburg, PA) 
  • 1982-1989      Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1989-1994      Father Judge High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1994-1999      DeSales Centre (Childs MD) 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father John “Jack” McDevitt:

Father John McDevitt, (aka “Uncle Jack”), a member of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, once served on Philadelphia City Council. He was one of the founders and served as first president of the Summerdale Boys’ Club. He was also the founding president of the Northeast-Suburban Athletic Conference. He taught theology at several high schools in Delaware, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He retired in 1994 and died in October 1999. 

According to media reports, in April 2009, Father McDevitt was named in a civil suit alleging he sexually abused a male student at Salesianum School in Wilmington during his junior year from 1985 through 1986.

In June 2009, the nephew of Cardinal John J.O’Connor, the former head of the Archdiocese of New York, filed a lawsuit in Delaware alleging Father McDevitt sexually abused him as a 14-year-old student at Father Judge High School in Philadelphia from 1990 through 1991. The order had already removed him from the school. The suit stated that the priest knew he was related to the cardinal and used that information to intimidate the boy. He left the school after his freshman year, stating in the suit that he could no longer take the abuse.

According to the suit, “He threatened him with low grades in his religion class in order to entice him into private tutoring sessions, and during the private tutoring sessions, he proceeded to sexually abuse the plaintiff.”

According to abuse survivor accounts, Father McDevitt also molested children at Camp Brisson, a boys’ summer camp in Cecil County, Maryland, which was run by the Oblates.

In August 2011, as part of the Oblates $24.8 million settlement resolving 40 civil lawsuits brought under the Delaware Child Victims act against the religious order, Father McDevitt was one of twelve names released.

In August 2018, Father McDevitt’s name was included on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors, as well as the Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report, which included the account of a male who stated that Father McDevitt tried to forcibly kiss him while in high school.

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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Charles Engelhardt (Oblates) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Monsignor Charles Engelhardt

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained: 1977

Died: 2014

Assigned as follows:

  • 1977-1983      Salesianum School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1983-1992      Northeast Catholic High School Faculty House (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1992-2000      Fr. Judge High School for Boys (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1998-2000      St. Jerome’s (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2000-2005      Mater Dolorosa (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2005-2007      St. Anthony of Padua (Wilmington, DE)
  • 2007-2010      Resurrection of Our Lord (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 2009-2011      Villa De Sales Oblate Residence (Wyndmoor, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Charles Engelhardt:

Monsignor Charles Engelhardt, a priest of the Oblates of St. Francis DeSales, had been Secretary of Clergy for the archdiocese under Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua. According to media reports, in February 2011, as a result of a Philadelphia District Attorney’s investigation, he was charged along with another priest and a teacher, with orally sodomizing and molesting a 10 year-old altar boy in 1998 and 1999 at St. Jerome’s sacristy in Philadelphia. He was also accused also of giving the boy altar wine and showing him pornography. He denied the accusations. 

Monsignor Engelhardt was named in a report and included in a presentation made by the Philadelphia Grand Jury. He was also arrested for knowingly putting children in harm’s way, and was convicted January 2013. He was sentenced to six to twelve years in prison. He died in November 2014.

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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Dn. Charles Ginn – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Deacon Charles Ginn

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained: 2001

Removed: 2005

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • St. Katharine of Siena (Wayne, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Deacon Charles Ginn:

Deacon Charles Ginn was ordained a deacon in 2001. He taught history at the prestigious Jesuit St. Joseph’s Prep School for 29 years. According to media reports, in November 2005, he was removed from his position following allegations that he had inappropriately kissed and hugged three students in 1996 while he was a counselor. At the time, he had admitted the misconduct to the school, which forced him to undergo psychiatric evaluation and treatment. He was deemed not to be a threat to students, and was not reassigned. 

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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. David Lawlor (Norbertine) – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father David Lawlor

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained: 1971

Died: 2017

Assigned as follows:

  • Daylesford Abbey (Paoli, PA)
  • St. John Neumann High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • Mercy Hospital (Philadelphia, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father David Lawlor:

Father David Lawlor, a priest of the Norbertine order, In addition to several years of teaching at Bishop Neumann High School, he also functioned as a chaplain at Mercy Hospital and served in many parishes in the Harrisburg and Trenton dioceses. He was certified Addictions counselor and spent much of his later years ministering and supporting those in the AA program. He also served as kitchen director at the Daylesford Abbey.

According to media reports, in 2002, Father Lawlor was arrested and charged with groping two men in a whirlpool at a suburban YMCA. He denied the allegations and was placed on leave. In October 2003, a jury found him innocent. He died in December 2017.

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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Call us at (888) 283-9922 or send an email to adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your options today.

Fr. Ed Smith – Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Father Ed J. Smith 

Archdiocese of Philadelphia

Ordained: 1973

Assigned as follows:

  • 1975      St. John Neumann High School (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1982      Archmere Academy (Claymont, DE)
  • 1997      Archmere Academy (Claymont, DE)
  • 1996      Immaculate Conception Priory (Claymont, DE)
  • 1997      Claymont School Board of Trustees

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Ed J. Smith:

Father Ed J. Smith, a priest of the Norbertine order, was an English teacher, dean of student life, and later principal of St. John Neumann High School in South Philadelphia. According to media reports, in 2002, he was put administrative leave after a former student filed a complaint with the District Attorney’s Office against him. The student claimed Father Smith sexually abused him as a 13-year-old freshman in 1976. He said he had also watched the priest molest two other boys in the presence of another priest. 

The former student wrote in a letter to Abbot Thomas De Wane, the administrator of the Norbertine Fathers, “Father Smith committed two additional criminal acts by sexually molesting me on two separate occasions, once on an elevator at the [faculty] dormitory attached to the school and the other time after school in the conference room. Edward Smith molested me physically, raped me spiritually, and slaughtered my childhood.”

After his removal from the school, Father Smith was assigned to a Salisbury, MD., parish for a year and then to Archmere Academy in Claymont, DE in 1982. There he taught religion, English and served as Archmere’s campus minister until he left the school in 1984.

In November 2005, Father Smith was named in a civil suit filed by a former Navy officer alleging the priest raped him as a 14-year-old boy more than 230 times over a three-year period in the 1980s while he was a student at Archmere Academy.

In March 2007, a U.S. District Court jury awarded the victim $41 million in damages. 

“The jury spoke out very loudly that all Delaware officials must do everything in their power to hold these persons accountable for their past crimes,” the victim said at a news conference. “I want to thank the judge and jury for allowing me to expose the truth about matters which have been hidden away for far too long, and for seeing that justice was done not only for me, but also for all the many other victims who have been denied their day in court by armies of lawyers and church bureaucrats who are more interested in a cover-up than in protecting innocent children and revealing the truth of what happens behind closed doors in their church.”

The victim settled with the Diocese Wilmington in January 2008 and with the Norbertines and school in September 2008.

“Now that the child’s victim act is law, I have filed suit against those whose ‘I don’t care attitude,’ reckless attitude caused my rape by a renegade priest,” Whitwell said at a press conference. “I want them held fully accountable by a civil jury and punished for their role in my child abuse.”

In July 2019, Father Smith’s name appeared on the St. Norbert Abbey’s in WI list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. It noted multiple allegations, and that Smith was restricted from ministry.

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 Philadelphia, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.