Tag: Pittsburgh

Fr. John Armstrong – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father John Armstrong

Diocese of Pittsburgh

John Armstrong Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Armstrong:

In July 2020, Fr. John Armstrong was named in a civil lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Pittsburgh on behalf of a man who said that he was sexually abused as a teenager in the 1970s.  According to the lawsuit, Armstrong and his brother, Fr. James Armstrong, sexually abused the boy while the brothers were assigned to St. Peter’s parish in Pittsburgh.

Armstrong’s name does not appear on the Diocese of Pittsburgh’s list of credibly accused priests, or in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. However, his brother, Fr. James Armstrong, does appear on the Diocese’s list, meaning that the Diocese has concluded (after an internal investigation) that at least one prior allegation against James Armstrong is true.

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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. Peter Pilarski – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Peter Pilarski

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Peter Pilarski Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1959

Died: 2017

Assigned as follows:

  • Resurrection parish (West Mifflin)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Peter Pilarski:

Father Peter Pilarski was ordained a priest in 1959, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, in November 2018, the Diocese of Pittsburgh was sued by a man who alleged that he was sexually abused by  in 1966 while Father Pilarski was assigned to Resurrection parish in West Mifflin.  The man says he was 15 years old at the time of the abuse.

According to the lawsuit, Father Pilarski took the teen to sporting events, dinner and  trips to a friend’s cottage on a river. 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 he was unconscious.

Father Pilarski died in 2017 as a retired priest in good standing. Hid name was not disclosed in the 2018 Pennsylvania 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 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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. John Unger – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father John Unger

Diocese of Pittsburgh

John Unger Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1942

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • Sacred Heart Elementary School (Pittsburgh, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Unger:

Father John Unger was ordained a priest in 1942, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, in November 2018, a man sued the Diocese of Pittsburgh alleging that Father Unger repeatedly sexually abused him starting when he was a 10-year-old boy from 1969 until 1971. The alleged victim was in the fourth grade at Sacred Heart Elementary School, where Unger was a priest at the parish.

The man said Unger would take him out of class to help the priest clean erasers, then led him to a secluded choir room and raped him. He said he asked “why?” and Unger told him it made him a bona fide member of the Catholic Church, and not to tell. He said Unger sexually abused him multiple times in the school and in church buildings. He also said Unger threatened to harm him and his family if he ever told anyone. The man also said other boys at the school were sexually abused, as well, and that they called the priest “Monster Unger.. .” Two of the other boys, reportedly later died by suicide.

Unger died in 2004 as a retired priest in good standing. He was first named publicly as accused in a lawsuit announced in November 2018. Unger’s name was not disclosed in the 2018 Pennsylvania 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 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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. George Leech – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father George Leech

Diocese of Pittsburgh

George Leech Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1956

Retired: 1999

Died: 2006

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father George Leech:

Fr. George Leech was ordained to the priesthood in 1956, and served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, in November 2018, he was named in a lawsuit filed 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.

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

The man said he reported the alleged child sexual abuse multiple times to the diocese in 2008. According to the suit, the diocese said it would “get back” to him but never did.

Fr. Leech died in 2006 as a retired priest in good standing. His name was not disclosed in the 2018 Pennsylvania 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 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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. Joseph Feltz – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Fr. Joseph Feltz

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Joseph Feltz Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1979

Retired: October 2018

Suspended from ministry: Nov. 2018

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Joseph Feltz:

Fr. Joseph Feltz was ordained a priest in 1979, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, in November 2018, he was named in a lawsuit with other priests who were accused of being part of what the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report called a “ring of predatory priests” active in the 1970s and 1980s, along with the Fr. George Zirwas, Fr. Robert Wolk, Fr. Francis Pucci and Fr. Richard Zula. According to the court filing, the victim was abused in the rectory of St. Michael in Elizabeth Township.

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 most recently served at St. Christopher parish in Prospect, Pennsylvania until his retirement in October 2018. Feltz has denied the allegation, and was not named in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report. 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 Diocese of Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. John O’Brien – Diocese of Pittsburgh

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

Diocese of Pittsburgh

John O'Brien Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz LawOrdained: 1975

Died: 2004

Assigned as follows:

  • Central Catholic High School

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

Father John O’Brien was ordained a priest in 1975, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh after a long career 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 media reports, 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. The allegation was related to O’Brien’s assignment at Central Catholic High School in 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 Diocese of Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. Thomas E. Smith – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Thomas Smith

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Thomas Smith Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1951

Died: 2015

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Anselm High School (Swissvale, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Thomas Smith:

Father Thomas Smith, known as the “singing and dancing priest” was ordained in 1951, and served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He started out in a career on stage, performing at clubs in New York City before entering the seminary. He continued to perform while based at a McKeesport parish, in local nightclubs, at church dinners and church fundraisers into the 1990s.

According to media reports, in December 2018, he was accused publicly at a diocesan listening session by a woman who said he sexually abused her in 1967, when she was a 15- or 16-year-old St. Anselm High School student. She said he grabbed and played with her breasts when the lights were low at a school dance.

The Diocese of Pittsburgh said 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 at age 90 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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. John Lukasik – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father John Lukasik

Diocese of Pittsburgh

John Lukasik Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1953

Died: 1981

Assigned as follows:

  • St. Mary Czestochowa Church (McKeesport, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Lukasik:

Father John Lukasik was ordained a priest in 1953, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, he was identified on a list of clergy who were already deceased when allegations of child sexual abuse were filed against them.

In January 2005, Father Lukasik was the subject of a civil lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Pittsburgh by a 53-year-old man who alleged that the priest sexually abused him after plying him with alcohol, in 1963 when he was an 11-year old student attending St. Mary Czestochowa Church in McKeesport. The suit also alleges a cover-up by church leaders.

Father Lukasik died in 1981.

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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. Albert McMahon – Diocese of Pittsburgh

Father Albert McMahon

Diocese of Pittsburgh (Franciscan)

A lbert McMahon Diocese of Pittsburgh Horowitz Law

Ordained: Unknown

Removed: 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:

Father Albert McMahon was ordained a Franciscan priest who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, in April 2004, a 54-year-old female reported that she was sexually abused by Father McMahon when she was approximately 11 years old. She explained that she went to play at St. Pamphilus, and Father McMahon 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 died in 2018, at the age of 83. He was named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania 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 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 may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.

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

Fr. Francis 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 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.