Tag: Diocese of Scranton

Fr. James Gormley (Jesuit) – Diocese of Scranton

Father James Gormley (Jesuit)

Diocese of Scranton

Ordained: 1954

Died: 2005

Assigned as follows:

  • 1948-1951      Scranton Preparatory School (Scranton, PA) 
  • 1956-1959      Scranton Preparatory School (Scranton, PA) 
  • 1959-1960      St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (Philadelphia, PA) 
  • 1960-1965      Novitiate of St. Isaac Jogues (Wernersville, PA) 
  • 1965-1972      St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (Philadelphia, PA) 
  • 1973-1975      Georgetown Preparatory School (N. Bethesda, MD) 
  • 1975-1981      St. Joseph’s Preparatory School (Philadelphia, PA) 
  • 1982-1983      Holy Rosary Catholic Academy (San Bernadino, CA)
  • 1983-1985      Waldron Academy (Merion Station, PA) 
  • 1985-1993      Holy Child Infirmary and School (Rosemont, PA) 
  • 1993-1997      Wheeling Jesuit University (Wheeling, WV) 
  • 1998-1999      St. Jude Church (Radford, VA) 
  • 1999-2000      Cathedral of the Sacred Heart (Richmond, VA) 

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father James Gormley:

Father James Gormley served at Scranton Prep in the 1940s and 1950s. He was then transferred throughout Pennsylvania and the country until 2000. He died in 2005. According to media reports, in December 2018, Father Gormley was named publicy on the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus list of Jesuits with credible allegations of sexual abuse of minors..

In October 2019, Father James Gormley’s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Scranton’s list of clergy credibly accused of sex abuse of minors, as well as on the Diocese of Richmond’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 Scranton.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Scranton, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Scranton 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. James J. Walsh – Diocese of Scranton

Father James J. Walsh 

Diocese of Scranton 

 

Fr. James Walsh Horowitz Law

 

Ordained: 1972

Resigned/Removed: 2020

Assigned as Follows:

  • 1973 St. Ann’s (Tobyhanna, PA) 
  • 1973 Holy Rosary (Scranton, PA)
  • 1974 St. Clare (Scranton, PA)
  • 1975 Cathedral of St. Peter (Scranton, PA)
  • 1978 St. Ann’s (Tobyhanna, PA)
  • 1979 St. Gregory Church (Clarks Green, PA)
  • 1983 St. John the Evangelist 
  • 1984 St. Patricks (Olyphant, PA)
  • 1985 St. Francis Parish (Nanticoke, PA)
  • 1985 St. Joseph Parish (White Mills, PA)
  • 1991 St. Mary Parish (Avoca, PA)
  • 1996 Sacred Heart of Mary (Jermyn, PA)
  • 2006 Our Lady of Sorrows Parish (West Wyoming, PA)
  • 2006 St. Joseph Parish (Wyoming, PA)
  • 2009 St. Francis of Assisi (Scranton, PA)
  • 2009 St. Patrick Parish (Scranton, PA)
  • 2013 St. Joseph Parish (Matamoras, PA)
  • 2015 St. Maria Goretti (Laflin, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father James J. Walsh:

On March 6th, 2019, the Diocese of Scranton received an allegation of sexual assault involving Father James J. Walsh. The alleged incident took place in 1979, while Walsh was serving at the Church of Saint Gregory in Clarks Green. The victim who came forward was an adult at the time of the alleged assault. 

During the course of the investigation, the Diocese received another allegation involving inappropriate behavior with an adult by Father Walsh. The investigator fully investigated the allegation, as well as two prior reports of possible misconduct involving Walsh. He denied each allegation. 

The Diocese did deem the allegations against him credible, and Father Walsh was informed of the bishop’s intention to remove him as a pastor. He submitted his resignation as pastor of Saint Maria Goretti Parish shortly thereafter. 

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Scranton.  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 Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

DIOCESE OF SCRANTON PRIEST RESIGNS FOLLOWING SEXUAL ASSAULT ALLEGATION

SCRANTON PRIEST ACCUSED OF SEXUAL ASSAULT

On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, the Diocese of Scranton announced the resignation of Father James J. Walsh, pastor of Saint Maria Goretti Parish in Laflin, following an investigation into an allegation of sexual assault that occurred in 1979. The alleged abuse occurred while Father Walsh was serving as assistant pastor at the Church of St. Gregory in Clarks Green. The diocese said the allegation did not involve a minor and notified the district attorney’s office immediately upon learning of the incident.

The Diocese of Scranton hired a professional investigator to conduct the investigation. It was then that another allegation involving Father Walsh’s inappropriate behavior with an adult was discovered. Additionally, two prior reports of possible misconduct involving Walsh were reviewed.

Father Walsh denied all allegations, but diocesan officials deemed the allegations to be credible. When Bishop Joseph C. Bambera told Walsh he was going to remove him as Pastor, Father Walsh resigned from ministry.

Horowitz Law has filed numerous sexual misconduct claims on behalf of those who were sexually abused by clergy of all religious denominations.  If you or someone you know was sexually abused by a clergy member of any religious faith, please contact our law firm today at (888) 283-9922 or send an e-mail to sexual abuse lawyer Adam Horowitz at adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com for a free consultation.

Msgr. George Demuth – Diocese of Scranton

George Demuth Horowitz LawMsgr. George Demuth

Diocese of Scranton

Summary of Allegations against Msgr. George Demuth:

In Summer 2015, a man reported to the Diocese of Scranton that he was sexually abused by Msgr. George Demuth during Demuth’s assignment to St. Mary’s Assumption in South Scranton.

According to the allegation, the sexual abuse began when Demuth took the boy’s confessions, face-to-face as the victim sat on Demuth’s lap.  Incidents also occurred in Demuth’s office at the parish and at a private home nearby, where the mother of another priest lived.  The man says the incidents occurred over a period of years, from approximately 1983 to 1987.

In 2019, Demuth was the subject of at least one claim filed in the Diocese of Scranton’s Independent Survivors Compensation Fund (ISCP).

Demuth was not identified in the 2018 grand jury report, and his name does not appear on the Diocese of Scranton’s list of credibly accused priests, which suggests that the Diocese never investigated the 2015 or 2019 reports.

Demuth died in 2017.  His funeral mass was celebrated by Bishop Joseph Bambera, who considered Demuth a personal friend and mentor.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Scranton.  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 Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.

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July 31 is Deadline for Victims to Register Clergy Abuse Claims in Three Pennsylvania Dioceses

July 31, 2019 is the registration deadline for anyone seeking compensation for a sexual abuse claim against clergy of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Diocese of Pittsburgh, or Diocese of Scranton.

The compensation fund is available to victims seeking compensation for sexual abuse occurring when they were a child.  All survivors of clergy abuse are eligible regardless of how many years ago the abuse occurred.  While the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Diocese of Pittsburgh compensation programs only allow claims against Diocesan priests, the Diocese of Scranton also allows for claims against priests from Religious Orders and lay people such as Catholic school teachers and coaches.  If you have any questions about the Compensation Fund, contact Horowitz Law for more information about these claim funds. Our law firm has assembled on this website the most comprehensive database of perpetrators of sexual abuse in the dioceses of Pennsylvania that is available anywhere.  We have identified more perpetrators than any other source.

In certain cases, the claims process may involve gathering church sacrament records, school records, witness statements, counseling/therapy records, or photographs to support your claim. For that reason, it is critical you do not wait until the deadline to register your claim.  It is also essential that you hire an attorney who has previously handled cases involving the compensation programs in Pennsylvania to protect yourself and your rights under the claims fund.

The claims funds are voluntary and confidential.  After the funds close on July 31, the overwhelming majority of victims of sexual abuse by clergy in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, Diocese of Pittsburgh, and Diocese of Scranton will no have no legal recourse against those who hurt them because Pennsylvania law requires most civil claims to be brought before the victims turn 25, or in some cases, 30, years old.  This means that most victims of clergy sexual abuse will have no other options after July 31.

Contact us today.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in Pennsylvania. If you need an attorney 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 Pennsylvania have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

Contact us at 1-888-283-9922 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com to discuss your legal options today.

 

Fr. Steven Wolpert (Redemptorist) – Diocese of Scranton

Father Steven Wolpert
Diocese of Scranton

Steven J. Wolpert Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1980
Retired: 1987

Assigned as follows:

  • 1980-1981: Mount St. Alphonsus Seminary, Esopus, NY
  • 1981-1987: Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Brooklyn, NY

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Steven Wolpert:

Father Steven Wolpert was not an active Redemptorist priest for long before he retired in 1987.

In 2008, 20 years after his retirement, Wolpert pled guilty to “Involuntary Deviate Sexual Intercourse” for having “deviate sexual intercourse” with an 8-year-old boy between January 1, 2006, and December 1, 2007, in Hawley Borough, Pennsylvania.

Wolpert testified that he allowed kids to sleep naked with him “because they were ‘curious’ and [he] didn’t want to stifle the child’s sexuality.” He was sentenced to nine to eighteen years in prison, ordered to pay $3,000.00 restitution, and was to be put on the national sex offender registry for life.

According to news reports, Wolpert has been denied parole twice (in 2016 and 2017).  According to the Department of Corrections, he is still incarcerated in Pennsylvania.

Despite his conviction, Wolpert’s name is not included on the Diocese of Scranton’s 2018 list of priests credibly accused of sexual abuse.

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 Scranton. 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 Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Fr. Benedict Van Der Putten (Society of St. John) – Diocese of Scranton

Father Benedict Van Der Putten
Diocese of Scranton

Benedict Van Der Putten Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1992
Laicized: 2005

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Benedict Van Der Putten:

Father Benedict van der Putten was a member of the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X, a schismatic order that is not recognized by Roman Catholic Church. He was a retreat master at St. Aloysius Retreat House in Los Gatos, California, from 1995 to 2000.  While in Los Gatos, California, around 2000, van der Putten is accused of engaging in “indecent acts” with a 15-year-old girl, and attempting the same with another girl, age 17.

He was immediately sent to the International Headquarters for the Society of St. Pius X in Switzerland and was sent on a sabbatical to the island monastery in Orkney Islands of Scotland.  He was later expelled from the Society.

In 2001, he became a member of the Society of Saint John, comprised almost entirely of priests leaving the Society of St. Pius X to seek reinstatement with the Roman Catholic Church.  He ultimately sought to be incardinated into the Diocese of Scranton as a Roman Catholic priest, and developed relationships with high-level Chancery officials.

The Diocese of Scranton was ultimately satisfied that van der Putten would make a good addition to its clergy roster and sought a correction of his Canonical status with Rome. When Bishop James Timlin sent the paperwork to Rome for van der Putten to be “regularized” with the Diocese of Scranton, Rome reported the sexual abuse allegation made by the Society of St. Pius X.

According to media reports, in 2002, van der Putten was interviewed by Timlin and other Diocesan administrators. Van der Putten admitted involvement with a 16-year-old girl. He advised he kissed her and caressed her breast. He also exposed his genitalia. Van der Putten claimed there was “nothing erotic” about the encounter, and insisted it was merely his attempt “to build trust” between himself and the child.

Timlin sent van der Putten for evaluation at the Southdown Institute in Ontario, a notorious facility treating pedophile priests.  Upon his admission, he admitted to recently fondling a young woman he met while on Christmas vacation in 2001. The Southdown Institute ultimately found that van der Putten had “predatory behavior.”

Despite Severed Ties, van der Putten Continues Ministry

In 2002, the Diocese received a call from a woman, who reported van der Putten molested her 18-year-old daughter in December 2001. This woman tracked van der Putten to Sacramento, California where he was giving liturgy.

The Diocese noted in a report documenting the woman’s complaint that van der Putten had a “Celebret” from the Congregation in Rome, Ecclesiae Dei, which provided him, with legitimacy, to engage in liturgy.

In 2002, Timlin advised van der Putten he would not be given faculties with the Diocese of Scranton. In December 2003, a memorandum went out to all bishops by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, Office of the General Secretary advising that van der Putten was a former member of the Society of St. Pius X and that he did not have faculties in the Diocese of Scranton due to admitted sexual misconduct.

For some time, Van der Putten used a website to advertise his availability for conferences, retreats and youth camps while claiming he is a priest in good standing, which he was not. He was also asking for Mass stipends.

Van der Putten, who now goes by “Ben Vanderputten” is believed to be residing in Shawnee, Oklahoma.  According to his Facebook page, he is now raising several children as a single father, including several girls.

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 Scranton. 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 Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Fr. Sebastian Vadakekottaram (Oblates) – Diocese of Scranton

Father Sebastian Vadakekottaram
Diocese of Scranton

Ordained: 1968

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Sebastian Vadakekottaram:

Father Sebastian Vadakekottaram is on the Diocese of Scranton’s list of individuals from whom allegations of sexual abuse of a minor been admitted, established, or determined to be credible. According to the list, Vadakekottaram was not a Diocese of Scranton priest. He is a member of the Oblates of Saint Joseph and is from India originally.

The Diocese of Scranton did not release any information about the allegation(s) against Vadakekottaram, including the age/gender of his victim(s) or his assignment(s) at the time of the abuse.

It is unknown whether he is living or deceased.

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 Scranton. 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 Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity (Society of St. John) – Diocese of Scranton

Father Carlos Urrutigoity
Diocese of Scranton

Carlos Urrutigoity Horowitz LawCarlos Urrutigoity Horowitz Law
Ordained: 1991
Removed from active ministry: 2002

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Carlos Urrutigoity:

In an effort to return disaffected members of the Society of St. Pius X to membership in the Catholic Church, Bishop James C. Timlin on the Diocese of Scranton interviewed a group of men who claimed that they were seeking to return to the true church. The group of men called themselves the Society of St. John (SSJ) and included among them was one of the order’s founders, Father Carlos Urrutigoity and Fr. Eric Ensley.

There were no background checks or reviews of their seminary or priestly formation records at that time. Father Urrutigoity and Father Ensey were subsequently incardinated into the Diocese.

On September 15, 2001, Timlin was informed that Urrutigoity had made it a practice to sleep in the same bed with boys and young men. Timlin immediately questioned Urrutigoity who denied any immoral behavior.

Urrutigoity did admit that there may have been occasions when overcrowded conditions prompted shared sleeping arrangements. Timlin ordered Urrutigoity to stop the behavior and the allegation was brought before the Diocesan Review Board.

Because there was no specific complaint, however, the Board believed that Timlin’s instruction was all that could be done.

On January 12, 2002, Timlin received correspondence from a representative of the Pope.  Attached was a letter written by a victim’s father accusing Urrutigoity of sexual misconduct of his minor child. These allegations were investigated by the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office, however, because the statute of limitations had expired, no criminal charges were filed against Urrutigoity.

The Diocese of Scranton was ultimately sued by the minor victim, who received a settlement.

Urrutigoity was sent for clinical assessments and removed from active ministry, pending the outcome of the Diocese of Scranton’s investigation.

Urrutigoity Picks Up Ministering in Paraguay

On November 19, 2004, Bishop Martino issued a decree suppressing the SSJ. While awaiting the Diocesan investigation, Urrutigoity requested to be excardinated from the Diocese of Scranton so they could be incardinated in a Paraguay diocese with the hopes of re-establishing the SSJ in South America.

The request was initially denied. In 2008, however, Urrutigoity was excardinated from the Diocese of Scranton and incardinated into the Diocese of Ciudad del Este, Paraguay. The Bishop of the Diocese of Ciudad del Este praised Urrutigoity at the time of his incardination, citing a letter written by Timlin wherein Timlin gave a glowing opinion of the SSJ and Urrutigoity.

The SSJ was re-created in Paraguay and Urrutigoity was promoted to second in charge of the Order. In 2014, the Vatican initiated an investigation into Urrutigoity and the Bishop of Ciudad del Este. Urrutigoity was removed as second in command and the Bishop was suspended.

The Vatican claims the removal was due to politics and was not related to past allegations of abuse.

Urrutigoity’s last known location was in Paraguay in 2014. There are no public records showing his current whereabouts.

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 Scranton. 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 Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.

Fr. John Rebovich (Oblates of St. Joseph) – Diocese of Scranton

Father John Rebovich
Diocese of Scranton

Ordained: 1967
Administrative leave: 1990
Death: Unknown

Assigned as follows:

  • 1968-1972: Oblates of St. Joseph Seminary, Pittston, PA
  • 1972-1973: St. John the Evangelist, Pittston, PA
  • 1973-1974: St. Joseph’s, York, PA
  • 1973-1974: Trinity High School, Shiremanstown, PA
  • 1974-1978: St. Nicholas, Dunellen, NJ
  • 1978-1979: Byzantine Catholic Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA
  • 1979-1985: St. Eugene, Bedford, OH
  • 1985-1990: St. Michael’s, Akron, OH

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Rebovich:

Father John Rebovich was an Oblates of St. Joseph priest in the Dioceses of Scranton and Harrisburg Pennsylvania before becoming a Byzantine Catholic priest. During his time as a priest, Rebovich has had multiple allegations of sexual abuse against a minor.

In 1990, Rebovich was accused of sexually abusing a 16-year-old altar boy at St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church in Dunellen, New Jersey in 1975. Rebovich’s accuser is said to have told church officials in 1978, who promised to investigate. It appears that Rebovich was transferred from the parish to seminary the year that the 1978 complaint was filed.

The First Lawsuit is Filed

Rebovich was removed from St. Michael’s in April 1990 when he was accused in a lawsuit of having raped and molesting an altar boy in 1980 at St. Eugene. The victim said the first incident occurred on Good Friday 1980 after Rebovich took him to dinner and persuaded him to spend the night at the rectory. He said he awoke in the night to find Rebovich performing oral sex on him.

The second incident took place in August 1980, after Rebovich supplied him with mixed drinks and took him back to the rectory in a drunken state. That time, the victim alleged, he awoke to find himself naked in the pastor’s bed.

The lawsuit also stated that the victim met with diocesan officials in 1984 and agreed not to press charges if the church removed Rebovich as pastor of St. Eugene, forced him into treatment and banned him from contact with boys. The diocese removed Rebovich from St. Eugene, but less than a month later reinstated him and that same year assigned him to St. Michael.

The Second Lawsuit is Filed

Rebovich was accused again in a 2002 lawsuit of having sexually abused three boys at St. Eugene’s, from 1978 to 1981, when the boys were 15 to 17 years old.

In interviews, the men said Rebovich lured teens to the rectory by inviting them over to drink alcohol. They said the offer was difficult to resist, and that the priest was a “cool” guy for allowing them to hang out and play cards.

That man said Rebovich asked him to clean up after bingo for $50. The priest also let it be known the cleanup crew could help themselves to beer.

Another man said Rebovich would have lots of teens hanging around his house. One by one, the boys would leave. On two occasions when he had been drinking and ended up alone with Rebovich, the priest raped him, he said.

According to Diocese records, Rebovich passed away, but the year and his last known location 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 Scranton. 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 Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims, but filing deadlines apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.

Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com.