Tag: Diocese of Erie

Mr. David Geitner – Diocese of Erie

Mister David Geitner  

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: N/A

Died: Unknown

Assigned as follows:

  • Elk County Catholic High School (St. Marys, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Mister David Geitner:

Mister David Geitner was a teacher and football coach at Elk County Catholic High School during the early-to mid-1970s. He was held in such high regard that a major award was named after him. According to media reports, in October 2018, his name appeared on the Diocese of Erie’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors after an allegation of misconduct was reported to Diocesan officials following the release of the Attorney General’s report in August 2018. No information on the allegations including age/gender of the victims was released. The plaques on display at the school that honor past “Dave Geitner Memorial Award” winners were re-titled. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. Jules “Raymond” Balko – Diocese of Erie

Father Jules “Raymond” Balko 

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1920

Died: 1985

Assigned as follows:

  • 1970-1985      St. Vincent’s (Erie, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Jules “Raymond” Balko:

Father Jules “Raymond” Balko was a priest of the Order of Saint Benedict. According to media reports, in April 2019, his name appeared on the Diocese of Erie’s updated list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. It noted that the abuse was reported after his death in February 1985. No further information on the allegations including age/gender of the victims, or the priest’s assignment at the time of the alleged abuse was released. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. Giles Nealen – Diocese of Erie

Father Giles Nealen 

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1951

Died: 1996

Assigned as follows:

  • 1944-1951      St. Vincent ArchAbbey (Latrobe, PA)
  • 1954-1963      St. Vincent ArchAbbey (Latrobe, PA) 
  • 1949-1951      St. Vincent Scholasticate Prefect 
  • 1951-1954      Sacred Heart (St. Mary’s, PA)
  • 1956-1963      Master of Brothers
  • 1964                St. James (Waynesburg, OH) 
  • 1964-1967      St. Benedictine Priory (Vinhedo, S. P. Brazil) 
  • 1967-1968      St. Benedict (Marguerite, PA)  
  • 1968-1971      Queen of the World (St. Mary’s, PA) 
  • 1971-1972      St. Bruno (South Greensburg, PA)
  • 1972-1980      St. James (Waynesburg, OH) 
  • 1990-1992      Sacred Heart (St. Mary’s, PA )

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Giles Nealen:

Father Giles Nealen became a Benedictine monk of St. Vincent Archabbey in 1945.  He was ordained a priest in May 1951. According to media reports, a letter dated July 1972 revealed that both the Order and Diocese of Greensburg knew that Father Nealen was “involved in an inappropriate incident” while he served as pastor of St. Bruno in South Greensburg. One significant sentence in the letter stated, “For reasons already known by you, it is wise and prudent to reassign the present Pastor, Father Giles Nealen, O.S.B., at this time.” Shortly after, he was transferred to the Diocese of Youngstown and served at St. James in Waynesburg, OH. 

In 1992, Father Nealen retired to the Archabbey where he remained active as chaplain to the Latrobe Carmelite Monastery of Nuns and assistant to the Prior.  In January 1993, a man wrote a letter to the Diocese alleging that Father Nealen sexually abused him in 1970 when he was 13 years old at Queen of the World in St. Mary’s, PA. He said his two friends were also abused by the priest, and begged the church to keep Father Nealen away from other young boys so they wouldn’t be sexually abused by him. Father Nealen was already confined to infirmary when the allegation was made. He died in December 1996. 

In May 2002, a woman reported to the Diocese that she knew of at least three men who Father Nealen sexually abused as boys. One had just been arrested for sexually abusing young boys.  Another woman alleged in a 2004 letter that her 11-year-old son was sexually abused by Father Nealen while he served as priest at Queen of the World 30 years earlier. She described the drastic change in her son’s behavior from a “happy go lucky child to a pensive and irritable child.”  

Around the same time, Father Nealen was abruptly removed from the parish with no explanation given to the parishioners. She said it was a few years later when she found out the reason he left. Her son had never married, would not walk in to a Catholic church and was, after thirty years, still severely traumatized by the sexual abuse he endured from Father Nealen. 

Another victim’s father told the hosts of the radio show “Erie in the Morning” that Father Nealen, who was “part of their family” and would stay entire weekends at their home, sexually abused his son for years between the ages of nine and fourteen. When he confronted the priest, who had recently left the parish, Father Nealen told him the reason he did it was because “his son needed love.” 

In April 2018, Father Nealen’s name appeared on the Diocese of Erie’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. In October 2018, his name also appeared on the Diocese of Youngstown’s list, as well as the PA Grand Jury Report. The Diocesan files subpoenaed had no information on the statuses of these victim’s or if any were offered counseling. Additionally, the Grand Jury investigation found no records that the Diocese of Erie notified police or the District Attorney’s office about Father Nealen’s long history of sexually abusing so many young boys. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. Jerome Kucan – Diocese of Erie

Father Jerome Kucan 

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1951

Died: 2010

Assigned as follows:

  • 1952-1954      St. Anthony’s (Sharon, PA) 
  • 1954-1961      St. Joseph’s (Bethlehem, PA)
  • 1961-1972      St. Mary’s (Steelton, PA) 
  • 1972-1973      Our Lady of Peace Friary (Beaver Falls, PA) 
  • 1973-1977      St. Anthony’s (Sharon, PA) 
  • 1977-1978      Sacred Heart (Milwaukee, WI) 
  • 1978-1979      Beaver Falls Friary (Beaver Falls, PA) 
  • 1979-1982      St. Mary’s (Steelton, PA) 
  • 1982-1985      St. Jerome’s (Chicago, IL)
  • 1985-1986      Sacred Heart (Milwaukee, WI) 
  • 1986-1988      St. Anthony’s (Chicago, IL)
  • 1988-1994      St. Augustine’s (West Allis, WI)
  • 1994-1995      Sacred Heart (Chicago, IL) 
  • 1995-2005      St. Anthony’s Friary (Chicago, IL)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Jerome Kucan:

Father Jerome Kucan joined the Croatian Franciscans in 1944. He was ordained as a priest in 1951. According to media reports, in March 2005, a 39-year-old man wrote a letter to the Diocese of Erie which stated that Father Kucan, also known as Father Jerry, had repeatedly sexually abused him beginning at the age of 8 in 1974. The boy had just started serving midnight mass at St. Anthony’s Croatian Church in Sharon. 

The letter explained that he would be called out of class to meet with Father Kucan and another religious Brother. They met in a room on the second floor of the gym where the men performed oral sex on the boy. Father Kucan told the boy that if he ever told anyone about their relationship, his mother would lose her job in the school kitchen and he would be thrown out of school. Father Kucan was removed from ministry. The Diocese offered the man counseling assistance and informed the Franciscans. In June 2005, the victim filed a complaint and received a settlement from the Order.

In January 2007, the Diocese received a letter from a woman detailing how Father Kucan sexually abused her husband when he was an altar boy in the mid-1950s at St. Anthony’s. Her husband committed suicide in 1993 after a long struggle with depression. When she spoke to his therapist after his death, she was told that her husband’s severe depression was directly related to being molested at St. Anthony’s as a child. The woman said Father Kucan also abused her husband’s cousins, who died by suicide in 1993, and had heard that other men who were molested at St. Anthony’s had also committed suicide.

Father Kucan died in December 2010. In April 2018, his name appeared on the Diocese of Erie’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors. In August 2018, his name was included on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s list, as well as the PA Grand Jury Report. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. Fidelis Lazar – Diocese of Erie

Father Fidelis Lazar

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1963

Withdrew from ministry: 1989

Died: 2018

Assigned as follows:

  • 1966-1969      St. Vincent (Latrobe, PA)
  • 1970-1975      St. Bede (Bovard, PA)
  • 1975-1976      Sacred Heart (St. Marys, PA)
  • 1976-1981      St. Clare (Clairton, PA)
  • 1981-1982      St. Joan of Arc (Library, PA)
  • 1982-1984      St. Mary (New Castle, PA)
  • 1984-1986      St. Joseph (Bloomfield, PA)
  • 1984-1987      St. Teresa (Koppel, PA)
  • 1987-1989      Leave of Absence

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Fidelis Lazar:

Father Fidelis Lazar was a member of the Order of Saint Benedict. According to media reports, in October 1986, the Diocese of Pittsburgh received a report from a male teen that he had been sexually abused by Father Lazar in June 1986. The alleged victim said that Father Lazar took him on overnight trips and slept together in the same bed. He said the priest kissed him and began touching the boy’s genitals. While in bed, he pulled the boy so close to him, that the victim felt his erect penis. 

When confronted, Father Lazar initially denied the allegation, stating the family was “troubled” and was singling him out. He was sent for treatment in November 1987. According to the summaries provided by his doctors, Father Lazar admitted to being sexually active with children after his ordination. Citing health reasons, he took a personal leave of absence from ministry. 

By September 1989, Father Lazar was removed from active ministry as a result of the allegation and his diagnosis of Ephebophilia, the primary sexual interest in mid -to -late adolescents. In September 1994, another man alleged that he had been sexually abused by Father Lazar when he was 15 or 16 years old when the priest was assigned at St. Joan of Arc. 

In March 2002, a man sent an email to the Diocese asking of Father Lazar’s status. He reported that Father Lazar had abused him while he was at St. Vincent’s Preparatory School in Latrobe when he was a Benedictine monk in the 1960’s. 

Father Lazar died in Connecticut in March 2018. Later that year in May 2018, his name was added to the Diocese of Erie’s updated list of clergy and staff credibly accused of child sexual abuse. In August 2018, his name was included in the PA Grand Jury Report.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. Gregory Furjanic – Diocese of Erie

Father Gregory Furjanic

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1981

Removed: 1996

Laicized: Unknown

Assigned as follows:

  • Kennedy Catholic High School (Hermitage, PA)
  • St. Anthony of Padua (Sharon, PA) 
  • Convent (Erie, PA)
  • Croatian Franciscan Friars (Chicago, IL)
  • Lutheran Social Services (St. Petersburg, FL)
  • St. Catherine of Siena (Mobile, AL) 
  • St. Monica Parish (Mobile, AL) 
  • Immaculate Conception (Orrville, AL)  
  • Sacred Heart (Grove Hill, AL) 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Gregory Furjanic:

Father Gregory Furjanic was a member of the Croatian Franciscan Friars in Chicago, Illinois. He served at St. Anthony of Padua in Sharon, Pennsylvania. At that time, the Diocese of Erie allowed an outside religious order priest to handle the ministry in one of their parishes. Since he was technically not one of their priests, there is very little paperwork on him.

According to media reports, in 2005, an allegation was reported to the Diocese of Erie that Father Furjanic sexually abused a child in the early 1970s. A second incident occurred in the mid-1980s. Records also show that in the 1990s another accusation against Father Furjanic was reported. He was sent to the Erie Ecclesia Center for counseling and then to the St. Luke’s Institute in Maryland for more advanced treatment.  In July 1996, the Congregation for Institutions of Consecrated Life and of Societies of Apostolic Life removed him from ministry.

In 2005, an inquiry was made from the Lutheran Social Services in St. Petersburg, Florida to investigate Father Furjanic’ s history. He had allegedly tried to get religious credentials in Mobile, Alabama and in St. Petersburg, but was denied based on his history. According to records, he represented himself as a clergy member associated with Lutheran Ministry and had the title “Reverend” on his business cards. 

Father Furjanic was subsequently laicized. His current whereabouts are unknown.

The PA Grand Jury investigation learned that one of Father Furjanic’s alleged victims died by suicide. In December 2018, his name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Erie’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. In April 2019, his name was included on the Archdiocese of Mobile’s list.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. 

Br. Edmundus Murphy – Diocese of Erie

Brother Edmundus Murphy 

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1953

Died: 2014

Assigned as follows:

  • Sacred Heart High School 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Brother Edmundus Murphy:

According to media reports, in December 2007, the Diocese of Erie received a report from the Society of the Divine Word that Brother Edmundus Murphy sexually abused a male student at Sacred Heart High School in Girard in 1964. The victim alleged that Brother Murphy, the wrestling coach at the school, encouraged him to join the team during the summer between his freshman and sophomore years. While teaching him some moves, the two wrestled naked “as the ancient Greeks and Romans did.” It was during these “wrestling” sessions the victim said he was sodomized by Brother Murphy. 

Brother Murphy subsequently left the ministry. He died in October 2014.

In August 2018, he was first named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury Report. The Grand Jury investigation found no documentation that the Diocese of Erie notified local law enforcement or the District Attorney’s Office about Murphy’s behavior. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. 

Sr. Mary Carmel Skeabeck (Charlotte Skeabeck) – Diocese of Erie

Sister Mary Carmel Skeabeck  

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: N/A

Died: 2015

Assigned as follows:

  • 1942-1943      St. Agatha School (Meadville, PA)
  • 1943-1944      St. Joseph Home for Children (Erie, PA)
  • 1944-1946      Holy Rosary School (Erie, PA)
  • 1946-1950      St. Leo School (Ridgway, PA)
  • 1950-1952      Cathedral Grade School (Erie, PA)
  • 1952-1955      St. Agatha High School (Meadville, PA)
  • 1955-1957      St. Bernard High School (Bradford, PA)
  • 1957-1958      St. Leo High School (Ridgway, PA)
  • 1958-1959      Villa Maria Academy (Erie, PA)
  • 1959-1964      St. Agatha High School (Meadville, PA)
  • 1964-1971      Elk County Christian High School (St. Mary’s, PA)
  • 1971-1972      Sisters of St. Joseph Motherhouse (Erie, PA)
  • 1972-1974      Elk County Christian High School (St. Marys, PA)
  • 1974-1976      St. Joseph School (Erie, PA)
  • 1976-1978      Villa Maria College (Erie, PA)
  • 1978-1979      Saint Vincent Health Center
  • 1979-2001      Villa Maria Academy (Erie, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Sister Mary Carmel Skeabeck:

Sister Mary Carmel Skeabeck, (aka Charlotte Skeabeck), was a Sister of Saint Joseph since 1942. According to media reports, the order said it received a report in May 2018, that Sister Skeabeck sexually abused a student multiple times in the late 1950s when she was a teacher at Villa Maria Academy in Erie. 

Although the order was aware of reports about Sister Skeabeck at the time the abuse occurred, she was allowed to remain in ministry in schools and other institutions throughout the 13-county Catholic Diocese of Erie until she retired in 2001. She died in 2015 at age 91.

In October 2018, her name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Erie’s updated list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors. She was the first nun to be placed on the list.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. Kevin Cray – Diocese of Erie

Father Kevin Cray

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1949

Died: 1999

Assigned as follows:

  • Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Kevin Cray:

Father Kevin Cray was a member of the Society of the Divine Savior and former chaplain at the Erie Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Milwaukee. He died in 1999. According to media reports, in May 2018, his name was added to the Diocese of Erie’s updated list of clergy and staff credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. It noted the allegations were reported after his death.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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. Edmund Borycz (Franciscan) – Diocese of Erie

Father Edmund Borycz 

Diocese of Erie

Ordained: 1968

Removed: 2006

Died: 2018

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Taylor, Michigan)  
  • St. Michael (Livonia, Michigan)
  • SS. Peter and Paul (Detroit, Michigan)
  • Archdiocese for Military Services

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Edmund Borycz:

Father Edmund Borycz, a member of the Franciscan Friars, served in the Archdiocese of Detroit, and was widely known for his work with the mentally disabled.  He became one of only 148 priests worldwide who ministered to the military. By 1993, he held the rank of lieutenant colonel.

According to media reports, in June 2002, Father Borycz was placed on administrative leave of absence from his position as pastor of St. Michael Parish in Livonia, following credible allegations of sexually abusing five children between 1963 and 1987. 

At least four of the alleged victims told investigators from the prosecutor’s office that Father Borycz fondled them while they were in bed. Statutes of limitations prevented the cases from being pursued. Police reportedly knew of an allegation in 1987 in which a 13-year-old boy was sexually abused by Father Borycz in the rectory at St. Cyril in 1983. When police presented a warrant request against the priest, a former assistant prosecutor reviewed the request, denied it and directed police to seal their file without contacting the archdiocese.

In May 2006, Father Borycz was removed from active ministry. In June, he was placed on permanent inactive status with no privileges by the Vatican. He died in January 2018. His name was included on the Diocese of Erie’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors.released in April 2018.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Erie, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Erie 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.