Justice follows revenge in Philadelphia Archdiocese clergy abuse at St. Titus in East Norriton | Maria Panaritis

It is time for life to cut Mike McDonnell a break — even if it’s 39 years overdue.

That time, it seems, may be nearer than ever.

Mike was 12 and serving as altar boy at St. Titus in East Norriton when the Rev. Francis Trauger sexually assaulted him. The parish at the time was a cesspool for priest predators in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia. But rather than calling police as they learned about Trauger, church leaders moved him from parish to parish and kept it mum.

Mike was 38 when the same archdiocese got justice against Mike. He was prosecuted for taking $100,000 in church payments for therapy but spending it elsewhere. He went to only one of the 662 “therapy visits” he had claimed over several years, and submitted fake receipts for the rest. Mike was jailed in 2010 after failing to post any of his $110,000 bail. (By contrast: When his defrocked priest-abuser was arrested, only recently and for the first time in four decades, that guy didn’t have to post a penny of $250,000 in unsecured bail.)

Now 51 and sober for years, Mike is clear-eyed — and eyeing what may finally be glimmers of justice on the horizon.

A few months ago, FBI agents reached out and met with Mike as part of the Catholic clergy abuse probe announced late last year by U.S. Attorney William McSwain in Philadelphia. Then, a few weeks ago in Bucks County, the local district attorney ordered the arrest of Mike’s now-defrocked abuser, charging Trauger with abusing two boys who are now in their 30s.

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