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Allentown Catholic Diocese Covered For Abusive Priests

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By Nathanial L. Foote of Andreozzi + Foote posted in Child Sexual Abuse on Tuesday, August 21, 2018.

On August 14, 2018, Pennsylvania’s Attorney General released a long-awaited grand jury report that showed top Roman Catholic leaders in Pennsylvania covered up decades of child sex abuse involving 300 priests and more than 1,000 victims. The grand jury report covered six Pennsylvania Catholic Diocese: the Diocese of Harrisburg, the Diocese of Pittsburgh, the Diocese of Greensburg, the Dioceses of Erie, the Diocese of Scranton, and the Diocese of Allentown.

With each Diocese, the grand jury determined that bishops and other Catholic officials misused their power and enabled the victimization of children on a grand scale. The report describes Catholic officials’ “playbook for concealing the truth” used to cover up 70 years of child sexual abuse by 300 Roman Catholic priests.

Specifically, in the Allentown Diocese, the grand jury report identifies the following priests as potential abusers:

  • Thomas J. Bender
  • Thomas J. Benestad
  • Robert G. Cofenas
  • Francis J. Fromholzer
  • James Gaffney
  • Joseph Galko
  • Edward George Ganster
  • Francis T. Gillespie
  • Edward R. Graff
  • Richard J. Guiliani
  • Joseph D. Hulko
  • Joseph H. Kean
  • Thomas J. Kerestus
  • Francis Joseph McNelis
  • Gabriel Patil
  • Henry Paul
  • Paul G. Puza
  • Dennis A. Rigney
  • Joseph A. Rock
  • Gerald Royer
  • Charles J. Ruffenach
  • J. Pascal Sabas
  • William J. Shields
  • Stephen F. Shigo
  • David. A. Soderlund
  • Henry E. Strassner
  • Bruno M. Tucci
  • A. Gregory Uhrig
  • Andrew Aloysius Ulincy
  • Ronald Yarrosh
  • Joseph A. Zmijewski
  • David Connell
  • Timothy Johnson
  • Jim Gross
  • Michael S. Lawrence
  • William. E. Jones

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