New Lawsuit Filed Against Diocese of Allentown and St. Theresa of The Child of Jesus Catholic School

Another lawsuit has been filed against the Diocese of Allentown and a Catholic school in Pennsylvania. We applaud the brave victim in this case and hope his example inspires others to come forward.

 

The lawsuit against the Diocese of Allentown and St. Theresa of The Child of Jesus Catholic School in Hellertown, Pennsylvania, alleges that Mark Beaky was repeatedly abused by a teacher, Lawrence Haftle, who plied him with drugs and alcohol. Thanks to efforts like the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury, as well as legislative reform that has enabled survivors to come forward, more and more lay teachers, nuns, brother, and other lay employees are being accused of abuse. We are sure that more victims will come forward as a result of this news.

We believe it is past time for Bishop Alfred Schlert of Allentown, and all bishops in the United States, to come completely clean about abuse in their dioceses. That means listing not just priests, but also every other employee who victimized Catholic children. If church officials truly care about creating safe environments where boys, girls, and the vulnerable will be protected, they need to be rooting out every single person who abused or covered-up abuse, regardless of their title or status. These names, work histories, photos and whereabouts should then be made public so that communities are informed and children are safer.

This lawsuit would have never been able to be filed under Pennsylvania’s archaic statute of limitations, but a decision against the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown that is currently in front of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has made it possible. We are grateful to the attorneys for aggressively pursuing these cases and hope that these disclosures help members of the Pennsylvania legislature understand the importance that statute of limitations reform holds for the prevention of future cases of abuse and of the healing of victims.

CONTACT: Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (zhiner@snapnetwork.org, 517-974-9009)

(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)


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