Late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua Accused of Sex Assault In New Lawsuit

For immediate release, September 7, 2018

Statement by Tim Lennon, SNAP President, 415-312-5820, [email protected]

The late Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua has been accused by a woman of molesting her when she was a child. The cardinal had a long history serving in Pennsylvania, first as Bishop of Pittsburgh and then as Archbishop, and later Cardinal, of Philadelphia. He died in 2012.

No one should be shocked when a bishop or cardinal is accused of abuse. After all, these men come from the ranks of priests, where studies have shown that almost ten percent prey on children.

Often, the most prestigious and powerful are among the last to be exposed as wrongdoers. Many times, survivors of prominent clerics are reluctant to come forward, fearing they won't be believed.

We have no first-hand information about the allegations. However, studies have shown that false allegations of sexual abuse are extremely rare. 

Anyone with information about criminal behavior, including allegations against high ranking Church officials like Cardinal Bevilacqua, should report to law enforcement. Those who have been abused can also reach out to groups like ours for help and support.

The Pennsylvania Hotline continues to take calls:  855-363-6548

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been working for thirty years to support victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings and has more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is

Contact  -  Tim Lennon (415-312-5820, [email protected]), Judy Jones, (636-433-2511, [email protected]), Becky Ianni (703-801-6044, [email protected])

SNAP Network is a GuideStar Gold Participant