Diocese of Phoenix Faces Clergy Sex Abuse Lawsuits

In 2020, child sexual abuse claims against two priests who served in the Diocese of Phoenix made headlines. Alleged claims of sexual abuse of children against Father John “Jack” Spaulding and Father John P. Doran are a bleak reminder of the scale of clergy abuse not only within the Diocese of Phoenix, but the Catholic church as a whole.

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Allegations of Sexual Abuse Emerge Against Two Priests Who Served in the Diocese of Greensburg, PA

Allegations of sexual abuse by two priests who served in the Greensburg Diocese were brought to light recently by the State Attorney General’s office and the diocese itself. Father Emil Payer’s name was released by the diocese as part of a report by Bishop Edward Malesic. The report stated that Payer’s name was being added to the diocese’s list of priests who served within the diocese and had one or more “credible and substantiated” allegations of child sexual abuse brought against them. The second priest, Father Andrew M. Kawecki, was arrested and charged with several sexual abuse crimes against a former altar boy.

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Judge Rules Clergy Abuse Survivors Can File Lawsuits Against Archdiocese of Santa Fe

Bankruptcy Judge David T. Thuma is overseeing the Chapter 11 reorganization of the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. Thuma’s recent ruling would allow lawyers for clergy sex abuse survivors to file lawsuits against the diocese claiming it fraudulently transferred an estimated $150 million to avoid paying it to survivors. Lawyers for survivors allege the transfer of Archdiocese real estate and assets to parishes is an attempt to avoid bigger payouts to victims.

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Number of Clergy Abuse Lawsuits Filed in Pennsylvania Surge

Over the last few years, many states have passed reform bills to help survivors of childhood sexual abuse hold their abusers, and the institutions responsible for the abuse, accountable. Several states, including New York and California, have passed laws setting up what are commonly referred to as ‘revival windows.’ These ‘revival windows’ create a time frame for previously expired claims to be brought on behalf of the survivor.

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Lexington KY Diocese Releases Accused Priest List

The Diocese of Lexington, Kentucky released a list of 20 priests who served in the diocese and have been credibly accused of sexually abusing a minor. The list was compiled after an independent investigation that reviewed all priest and church files, among other documents. The diocese notes in its official report that “the investigators were granted unlimited and unfettered access to all files and documents, all personnel, and all policies and procedures”.

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Concordia Preparatory School Student Alleging Sexual Assault

A federal lawsuit filed by a former Concordia Preparatory School student contains several sexual assault allegations dating back to 2018 when she was a student. The lawsuit alleges the school looked the other way and failed to act even though the student repeatedly reported the incidents. The alleged assaults took place at the private school in Towson, MD, just north of Baltimore.

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Diocese of Covington, KY Release List of Accused Clergy

The Diocese of Covington, Kentucky has released a list of priests who have served in its diocese and have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. The list comes after two former FBI agents spent almost a full year reviewing diocese records dating back to 1950. The comprehensive list contains the names of 59 priests and 31 others affiliated with the diocese dating back almost 70 years.

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Survivor Payments Suspended by Camden Diocese IVCP

Survivors who chose to seek clergy abuse compensation from the Diocese of Camden through the Independent Victim Compensation Program (“IVCP”) will have to wait a little longer. In July, the diocese suspended making new payments through its Independent Victim Compensation Program (“IVCP”). Camden diocese officials told program administrators Kenneth R. Feinberg and Camille Biros the suspension was necessary because of a “precipitous decline in revenue resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic”.

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How Long Do I Have to File a Clergy Abuse Lawsuit in New Jersey?

How long you have to file a clergy abuse lawsuit in New Jersey is a common question. For some New Jersey clergy abuse survivors, it may take years, even decades to recall the abuse since traumatic events suffered as a child are often suppressed. Even those who haven’t blocked those memories often still need many years to process the pain and receive treatment or counseling before they are ready to share their stories.

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New York’s Diocese of Rochester Files for Bankruptcy

In September of 2019, the Diocese of Rochester filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection at the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Rochester. At the time of the filing, the petition noted the Diocese had $50-$100 million in assets, with liability estimates totaling $100 to $500 million. The Diocese of Rochester was the first New York diocese to choose Chapter 11 reorganization, however the Dioceses of Syracuse, Buffalo and Rockville Centre have all since filed as well. The Rochester diocese covers 12 upstate New York counties where an estimated 360,000 Catholics live.

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Pontifical Secrecy Rule Lifted in Clergy Sexual Abuse Cases

In December of 2019 the Vatican issued an instruction called On the Confidentiality of Legal Proceedings which essentially removed the pontifical secrecy rule related to clergy sexual abuse or misconduct cases. The directive by the Vatican should help ease communication between church officials and civil authorities around the globe regarding abuse cases.

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