Class Action Lawsuit Targets Pennsylvania Catholic Church

Seeks Names of All Priests Suspected of Sex Abuse

Joe DeStio
September 17, 2018 - 2:26 pm
Church Pews
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Related: Lawyer For Sex Abuse Survivors Wants Names Of All Suspected Predators Released

PITTSBURGH (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) – Two Pittsburgh area residents have filed a class action lawsuit seeking to force the Pennsylvania Catholic Church to disclose the names of all priests accused of sex abuse and internal church documents in their cases. One of the plaintiffs, Ryan O’Connor of Verona, says he was abused by his family priest growing up in Johnstown.

“The healing process for survivors is excruciating,” said O’Connor in a statement. “We are made to feel as though we must choose between our faith and our recovery.”

The other plaintiff is Kristen Hancock of Mt. Lebanon who has a child enrolled in Catholic school.

Attorney Benjamin Sweet filed the class action. “The church’s cover-up will continue unless and until it publicly releases the names of all suspected predators,” Sweet said.

The lawsuit notes that only 10 priests of the 301 cited in the report are listed on Pennsylvania’s Megan’s Law database of sex offenders.

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hold a hearing September 23rd on whether the names of about a dozen priests redacted from the recent state grand jury report should be made public.

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