Tag: Francis McNelis

Easton Allentown Diocese Horowitz Law

The Shocking History of Priest Abuse in Easton, Pennsylvania

Easton, Pennsylvania, located on the Delaware River across from New Jersey, is a town of about 30,000 people.  It is home to five Catholic parishes, a surprisingly large number given the small size of the town.  It is also the home of Notre Dame High School, one of the largest schools operated by the Diocese of Allentown.  The parishes and schools draw people from the surrounding Lehigh River Valley and northern New Jersey.

Easton also has the dubious distinction of being “ground zero” of the child sexual abuse crisis in the Diocese of Allentown.  The August 2018 grand jury report identified more than a dozen priests who have been assigned to the parishes of Easton throughout the history of the Diocese, which was formed in 1961.

Through our own investigation, we have identified 54 priests accused of abuse in the Diocese of Allentown – and discovered that almost half of those men were assigned to one or more parishes in Easton at some point during their career, and as recently as 2014.  Most of these 26 men appear on the Diocese of Allentown’s list of credibly accused priests.

St. Anthony of Padua

St. Bernard

St. Jane Frances de Chantal

St. Joseph

St. Michael

Notre Dame High School

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Allentown.  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 Allentown may have legal options against the Diocese of Allentown.

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

Fr. Francis Joseph McNelis – Diocese of Allentown

Father Francis Joseph McNelis

Diocese of Allentown

Francis Joseph McNelis Diocese of Allentown Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1965

Retired: 2002

Died: 2005

Assigned as follows:

  • 1965-1966: Annunciation B.V.M. (Shenandoah, PA)
  • 1966: St. Joseph (Girardville, PA)
  • 1966-1967: Regional Director, C.Y.O. (East Schuylkill County)
  • 1967-1969: Regional Director, Thanksgiving Clothing Drive
  • 1969-1970: St. Jerome (Tamaqua, PA)
  • 1970: St. Theresa (Hellertown, PA)
  • 1970: Regional Director, C.Y.O. (Northampton County)
  • 1970-1972: St. John the Baptist (Shilington, PA)
  • 1972: St. Jane Frances de Chantal (Easton, PA)
  • 1972-1974: Regional Director, Thanksgiving Clothing Drive
  • 1974-1975: St. Ann (Emmaus, PA)
  • 1975-1980: St. Mary/St. Boniface (St. Clair, PA)
  • 1980-1985: St. Mary (St. Clair, PA)
  • 1985-1993: St. Mary (Hamburg, PA)
  • 1993-1994: Absent on Sick Leave
  • 1994-2002: St. Ignatius Loyola (Sinking Spring, PA)
  • 2002: Retired

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Francis McNelis:

Fr. Francis McNelis was ordained a priest in 1965, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Allentown. According to media reports, in 1992, the Diocese received a report from a man that he was sexually abused by Fr. Francis McNelis between 1966 and 1968, when the boy was approximately 10-13 years old. He alleged that McNelis forced him to engage in mutual fondling and attempted to coerce him into anal sex. The mutual fondling occurred on five or six occasions.

The following year, McNelis was sent to a notorious treatment facility in Jemez Springs, New Mexico, run by the Servants of the Paraclete to serve the needs of pedophile priests.  Following his stay in New Mexico, McNelis was assigned to St. Ignatius Loyola parish. According to the 2018 PA Grand Jury report, McNelis repeatedly asked to be reassigned but was ordered to stay in parish ministry by the Diocese of Allentown until his retirement in 2002.

In 2004, another victim came forward to report sexual abuse by McNelis to the Diocese of Allentown.  He alleged that when he was approximately 16 years old in 1968, McNelis performed oral sex on him several times.

McNelis was the subject of two lawsuits in 2004.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Allentown.  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 Allentown may have legal options against the Diocese of Allentown.

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