Tag: Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. Peter Pilarski – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Peter Pilarski

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. Peter Pilarski Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1959

Died: 2017

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Peter Pilarski:

In November 2018, the Diocese of Pittsburgh was sued by a man who alleged that he was sexually abused by Father Peter Pilarski in 1966 while Pilarski was assigned to Resurrection parish in West Mifflin.  The man says he was 15 at the time of the abuse.

According to the allegation in the lawsuit, Father Pilarski took the teen to sporting events, dinner and  trips to a friend’s cottage on a river, where the priest would insist on bathing the boy in the river while both were naked. There was also wrestling, touching and horseplay on other occasions.  During one encounter, the man said he woke up from a deep sleep, “groggy, unsure of what happened and believed he had been “drugged and abused” while unconscious.

Father Pilarski died in 2017 as a retired priest in good standing.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. John Unger – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father John Unger

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. John Unger Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1942

Died: 2004

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Unger:

In November 2018, a man sued the Diocese of Pittsburgh alleging that he was sexually abused by Father John Unger from 1969 until 1971, starting when he was in fourth grade.  Unger was a priest at Sacred Heart parish. The man said that Unger would take him out of class at the parish grammar school to help with chores. The man said that Unger sexually abused him multiple times in the school and church buildings.

He also says that Unger threatened to harm him and his family if he ever told anyone.

Unger died in 2004 as a retired priest in good standing.  

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. George Leech – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. George Leech

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. George Leech Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1956

Retired: 1999

Died: 2006

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father George Leech:

In November 2018, the Diocese of Pittsburgh was sued by a man alleging that he was sexually abused by Fr. George Leech on multiple occasions in the early 1960s while the priest was assigned to St. Bartholomew.  

According to media reports, the man says that on 10 to 12 occasions, Leech showed up at a neighborhood ice skating rink, where he grabbed at the boy’s genitals while kissing him on the forehead, even reaching from behind when the boy would turn away. He also says that when and his classmates were being interviewed to be altar boys, the priest made them strip to their underwear to “determine what size smock they would need.”

The man said he reported the alleged abuse multiple times to the diocese in 2008; according to the suit, the diocese said it would “get back” to him but did not.

Leech died in 2006 as a retired priest in good standing.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. Joseph Feltz – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. Joseph Feltz

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Joseph Feltz Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1979

Retired: October 2018

Suspended from ministry: Nov. 2018

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph Feltz:

In November 2018, the Diocese of Pittsburgh announced that it had suspended the faculties of retired priest Fr. Joseph Feltz following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.  Feltz most recently served at St. Christopher parish in Prospect, Pennsylvania until his retirement in October 2018.

According to media reports, a man alleged that he was sexually abused by a group of pedophile priests including George Zirwas, Francis Pucci, Robert Wolk, and Richard Zula, in the mid-1980s.  All of these priests have been publicly accused by one or more other victims; some evidence suggests they often abused the same boys in tandem. In a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Pittsburgh in November 2018, the man also said that Feltz participated in some of his sexual abuse in the rectory at St. Michael’s parish in Elizabeth Township.  

Feltz has denied the allegation.  His faculties remain suspended pending the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s internal investigation.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

 

Fr. John O’Brien – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. John O’Brien (a/k/a Br. Firmilian John)

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. John O'Brien Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1975 (after a long career as a Christian Brother)

Died: 2004

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John O’Brien (a/k/a Brother Firmilian John):

In February 2019, the Diocese of Pittsburgh announced that it received an allegation of sexual abuse against a former Christian Brother who later became a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

According to media reports, Father John O’Brien was ordained as a Catholic priest in 1975 following a long tenure as a Christian Brother.  During his time as a Christian Brother, he taught at Central Catholic High School, and was then-known as Brother Firmilian John.

According to the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the allegation related to O’Brien’s assignment at Central Catholic High School in the 1960, prior to his ordination as a priest.  No additional details were released.

O’Brien died in 2004.  At the time of his death, he was a retired priest in good standing.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Pittsburgh Diocese now have legal options to recover damages from a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

Fr. Thomas E. Smith – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Thomas E. Smith

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. Thomas E. Smith Horowitz Law   Fr. Thomas E. Smith Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1951

Died: 2015

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Thomas E. Smith:

Father Thomas Smith was first publicly identified as an accused priest by the Diocese of Pittsburgh in December 2018.  According to media reports, a woman accused Smith of groping her breasts at a St. Anselm High School dance in approximately 1967 when she was 15 years old.  

The Diocese of Pittsburgh says this is the first allegation it has received regarding Smith, who now appears on its list of priests accused of abuse after their deaths.

Smith died in 2015.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh.  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 Diocese of Pittsburgh 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.

 

Fr. John Lukasik – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father John Lukasik
Diocese of Pittsburgh

Ordained: 1953
Death: 1981

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Lukasik:

Father John Lukasik was identified on a list of clergy who were already deceased when allegations of child sexual abuse were filed against them. Very little is known of the allegations against Lukasik except that the accusations were filed after Lukasik died in 1981, but before the Diocese of Pittsburgh began reporting post-mortem allegations in 2002.

Lukasik is buried at Our Lady of Hope Cemetery in Tarentum, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 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 Diocese of Pittsburgh 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.

Fr. Albert McMahon – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Albert McMahon
Diocese of Pittsburgh

Ordained: Unknown
Removed from active ministry: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • 7/05/1961- 7/01/1964: Team Ministry at St. Pamphilus, Beechview, PA
  • Unknown – 9/14/1967: Parochial Vicar at Our Lady Help of Christians, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Unknown – 2004: Province of the Immaculate Conception, New York

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Albert McMahon:

In April 2004, the Diocese of Pittsburgh received a telephone call from a 54-year-old female who reported that she was sexually abused by Father Albert McMahon when she was approximately 11 years of age. She explained that she went to St. Pamphilus in order to play.

While there, Father McMahon always showed her a lot of attention and that on a few occasions, he would have her sit on his lap. He would then fondle her breasts and genitals. She noted that Father Albert smelled of alcohol.

The Diocese contacted Father Campagna, Provincial Minister for the Province of the Immaculate Conception, in New York where McMahon was living at the time. In October 2004, Campagna sent a letter to the female which stated, in part:

“Once again I need to reiterate that I have not ignored, nor disbelieved, your accusations made against Father McMahon. If that were the case, I would not have removed him from active ministry. At the present time, Father McMahon does not enjoy participation in active ministerial priesthood, based solely on your complaint… I also assure you, as I have from the very beginning, I committed myself to provide for an appropriate time, access to therapeutic counseling that will hopefully bring some healing to your life.”

In January 2014, a 63-year-old adult male contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh to report that in the mid-1960s, when he was approximately 11 to 14 years of age, he served as an altar boy at St. Pamphilus, where he met McMahon. He stated that Father Albert MacMahon would invite the altar boys to his friary room on Saturdays in order to wrestle.

To the best of his knowledge, Father McMahon would always invite the boys to wrestle with him individually, never in a group. The male reported that when they would wrestle, McMahon would always get on top of him and that McMahon would always have an erection.

The male was offered counseling and advised that the allegation would be forwarded to the District Attorney’s office where the incident occurred (Allegheny County).

In January 2014, Bishop David Zubik addressed a letter to parishioners at St. Pamphilus that explained that allegations had been made against McMahon. The contact information for the abuse hotline was provided in the event that a parishioner was harmed by McMahon.

In February 2014, a 64-year-old male contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh to advise that he became aware of the fact that a letter was read and distributed at St. Pamphilus concerning McMahon. He reported that when he was approximately 12 to 13 years of age, he would wrestle with McMahon. He recalled that McMahon would have an erect penis and would attempt to put it in his behind.

At first, the wrestling seemed innocent; however, once he realized that McMahon had an erect penis near his backside, he got out of the rectory and never came back.

The male recounted two incidents of abuse. During the first incident, while he was wrestling with McMahon, his hand slightly passed over McMahon’ s penis. He did not know if McMahon did this on purpose, or if it was an accident.

During the second incident, McMahon placed him on his lap. McMahon had an erection at the time. According to a confidential memorandum in the file documenting this meeting, the male was very tearful at times while telling his story.

They further advised that his allegations had been forwarded to the Allegheny County District
Attorney’s Office and the Provincial for the Franciscan community. No information could be located within the files as to whether if/when McMahon was confronted with any/all of the allegations.

McMahon is still living, but his current whereabouts are unknown.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 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 Diocese of Pittsburgh 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.

Fr. Francis “Frank” Meder – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Francis “Frank” Meder
Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr Francis "Frank" Meder Horowitz Law

Ordained: N/A
Death: 1976

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Francis “Frank” Meder:

In August 2011, Bishop Zubik received a letter from an adult female who reported that Brother Frank Meder inappropriately touched her in the late 1950s when she was approximately 8 or 9 years of age. She stated that Meder would invite the Troy Hill neighborhood children into the North Catholic High School to give them leftovers from the cafeteria, such as drinks or candy. She stated that she followed Meder into his office and sat on his lap. He then fondled her. She stated that this abuse occurred to many children who visited the school.

In April 2014, an adult male contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh to report that he also had been abused by Meder when he was approximately 10 or 11 years of age (1953 or 1954). He stated that Meder invited the Troy Hill neighborhood children into North Catholic High Shool to see his stamp collection on Saturdays. Meder then took each child into his office located behind the kitchen and molested them. He reported that this occurred for at least two years. He also reported abuse by Brother Hildebrand.

In May 2014, another adult male reported inappropriate sexual contact by Meder that occurred between 1955 and 1957 at North Catholic High School, when he was approximately 8 to 10 years of age.

He came to know Meder because his mother worked at the school. After his father died, Meder offered to cut his hair as well as his brother’s hair for free in order to help his mother save money. During these monthly haircuts (which always occurred on Saturdays), Meder would rub the boys’ thighs and smack their buttocks. Meder would then give them a bag of chips and some pop. The male’s brother was contacted and confirmed this information.

In that same month, a third adult male contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh to report inappropriate sexual contact by Meder that occurred in the mid -1960’s at North Catholic High School when he was approximately nine to 10 years of age. He stated that he and other children from the Troy Hill neighborhood encountered Meder in the summer Meder invited them into the school where he took each child into his office, one at a time. He reported hat Meder gave them candy, but only after he spanked them. This occurred on approximately six occasions.

A fourth adult male contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh in the same time spam to report sexual abuse by Meder in 1953 or 1954 when he was 10 or 11 years of age. He stated that Meder invited the children into North Catholic High School on Saturdays. He often gave the children pop and candy. He would then line the children up, and have them take turns sitting on his lap in a rocking chair in his office. The office was located behind the kitchen. He recalled that as a child, he “always wondered what was in Brother Franks’ pants.” When he got older, he realized that Brother Frank had an erection.

The victims were informed that the incidents would be reported to the Allegheny County District Attorney’s Office and to the Provincial for the Marianist community.

Frank Meder dies in 1976 and is buried at Queen of Heaven Cemetery in Beavercreek, Greene County, Ohio.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 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 Diocese of Pittsburgh 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.

Fr. Donald W. McIlvane – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Donald W. McIlvane
Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr Donald McIlvane Horowitz Law

Fr Donald McIlvane Horowitz Law

Ordained: June 1952
Death: 2014

Assigned as follows:

  • 6/26/1952-6/12/1957: Parochial Vicar, St. Stephen, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 6/13/1957-10/31/1960: Parochial Vicar, St. Paul Cathedral, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 11/01/1960-6/26/1962: Parochial Vicar, Resurrection, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 6/27/1962-4/20/1966: Chaplain Correctional Institution, Allegheny County Jail
  • 4/21/1966-6/07/1976: Administrator, St. Richard, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 6/08/1976-11/22/1985: Pastor, Corpus Christi, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 11/23/1985-6/01/1992: Pastor, Presentation of Virgin Mary, Midland, PA
  • 6/01/1992-12/01/1992: Sabbatical at St. John Fisher, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 12/01/1992-1/22/1993: Awaiting Assignment at St. John Fisher, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1/22/1993-6/27/1994: Parochial Vicar (Part-time), St. John Fisher, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 6/27/1994-12/30/1994: Chaplain, Motherhouse at Sisters of Divine Providence, Allison Park, PA
  • 9/29/2008-12/15/2008: Leave of Absence

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Donald W. McIlvane:

In July 2008, the Diocese of Pittsburgh received a letter from a 43-year-old man who reported that in 1973, he was in the third grade at St. Richard’s and was serving as an altar boy. On one particular day that year, he was not feeling well and Father Donald W. McIIvane escorted him up to a bedroom in the rectory. After he lay down, McIIvane began to rub his stomach and thighs. McIIvane then started to rub his penis through his clothing and his penis became erect.

McIIvane then unzipped his pants and performed oral sex on him. He was given $5.00 by Mcllvane. The male reported that between 1973 and 1977, McIIvane performed oral sex on him
at least 40 times per year and that he was always paid afterward with money from the parish
donations.

On October 29, 2008, the Diocesan Review Board met and reviewed the allegations. They accepted the written material submitted by the male and heard testimony from him. The Board determined that the allegation could not be substantiated because the information was inconclusive and unable to be verified. The Board then recommended, and Bishop Zubik accepted, that Mcllvane be restored to priestly ministry. The Board voted unanimously that there was no semblance of truth to the allegations.

On January 20, 2009, Father David Bonnar wrote a letter to the male wherein he stated:

“I am sorry that the Independent Review Board did not come back with an outcome for which you were hoping. Nevertheless, the Diocese of Pittsburgh is still willing to offer counseling and spiritual direction to you.”

McIlvane died in 2014 and is buried at Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in McMurray, Washington County, Pennsylvania.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 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 Diocese of Pittsburgh 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.