Tag: Paul Puza

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.

Reading Central Allentown Horowitz Law

Reading Central Catholic High School (Reading, PA)

Reading Central Catholic High School, which closed in 2011, was one of the Diocese of Allentown’s largest private schools.  It has also been home to a shockingly large number of priests the Diocese of Allentown says have been credibly accused of child sexual abuse since it opened in 1939.

Through our own investigation, we have identified the following priests who have been assigned to Reading Central (as recently as 2010) and who were later accused of child sexual abuse:

For more information on each priest, click on their names.

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. Paul G. Puza (Diocese of Allentown)

Father Paul G. Puza

Diocese of Allentown (Pennsylvania)

Ordained: 1975

Retired: 2002

Laicized (removed from priesthood): 2010

Assigned as follows:

  • 1975-1976    St. Bernard/Lafayette College (Easton, PA)
  • 1976-1977    Regional Director of Vocations/St. Anne (Bethlehem, PA)
  • 1977-1978    Central Catholic High School/St. Joseph (Reading, PA)
  • 1978-1981    St. Casimir/Catholic Scouting (Shenandoah, PA)
  • 1981        St. Anthony (Easton, PA)
  • 1981-1983    St. Stanislaus Kostka (Minersville, PA)
  • 1983-1989    St. Anthony of Padua (Cumbola, PA)/Nativity BVM H.S. (Pottsville, PA)
  • 1989-2002    St. Richard (Barnesville, PA)/Marian High School (Tamaqua, PA)
  • 2002        Retired

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Paul Puza:

In 1991, the Diocese of Allentown received a report from a seminarian that he had been molested by Puza as an 8th grade student.  The grand jury report is not clear when or where this incident occurred, but what it stated with certainty was that Puza admitted to at least one incident of sexual contact with the boy.  Puza maintained the child was a senior in high school, not in middle school as he said, however. Such a distinction is important under Canon (Church) law because a 16 year old could consent to such activity (even if Pennsylvania criminal law said otherwise).  At the time, Puza was already in therapy for undisclosed issues, but the therapist readily informed the Chancery in Allentown that Puza maintained this was the only minor he had sexual contact with; everyone else he had engaged in physical contact with was an adult.

In 1995, a high school student reported to the Diocese of Allentown that he was sexually abused by Puza.  According to the grand jury report, Puza admitted to the contact with the student when confronted in 2002, though no explanation is given as to why the Diocese of Allentown allowed Puza to continue in ministry for 7 years before asking him about it. Puza resigned from his ministry a few days later.

He was laicized by the Vatican in 2010.  Until that time, the Diocese of Allentown listed him as a retired priest in the Official Catholic Directory. Puza is still living and believed to be residing in the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area.

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.