PA - Victims “out” two abusive Catholic priests

Both worked in Pittsburgh & abused elsewhere

Settlements have been paid out in both cases

One is the third predator at one McKeesport school

SNAP blasts Catholic officials for “on-going secrecy

It urges bishop to post all predator priests on his website


Holding signs and childhood photos, clergy sex abuse survivors and their supporters will disclose that two clergy sex abuse cases have been settled involving

--a local priest who reportedly molested in Massachusetts but also worked in Pittsburgh, and

--another priest who molested in Maryland (and later pled guilty) but was then sent to work in a Pittsburgh church.

They will also hand deliver a letter to the Pittsburgh Catholic headquarters prodding Pittsburgh’s bishop to post the names and whereabouts of dozens of child molesting clerics on his diocesan website (like roughly 30 other bishops have done).

And they will urge anyone who may have “seen, suspected or suffered clergy sex crimes and cover ups in Pittsburgh –by these two priests or other church employees - to “speak up, get help, call police, expose wrongdoers, protect kids and start healing”


Thursday, Sept. 12, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.


On the sidewalk outside the Pittsburgh Catholic diocese headquarters (chancery office), 111 Boulevard of the Allies (corner of Stanwix) in downtown Pittsburgh, PA


Two-three members of a support group called SNAP (the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests), including a Pittsburgh woman who is the organization’s local volunteer director


SNAP has learned that two child sex abuse cases, involving two local priests (who have attracted little or no attention in Pittsburgh), have been settled in other states.

Last week, the Associated Press reported that a child sex abuse case against Fr. Alan E. Caparella has settled.

And SNAP has also learned that a case against another Pittsburgh priest, Fr. Richard Deakin, was settled in Baltimore.

As best SNAP can tell, there’s been no media or public attention in Pittsburgh about either Fr. Caparella or Fr. Deakin, nor the accusations against them or the settlements involving them.

According to news accounts and Boston attorney Mitchell Garabedian (617-523-6250, [email protected]), Fr. Caparella abused a youngster in Boston in between 1963-1985.

According to news accounts and Maryland attorney Robert L. Hanley Jr. (410-823-7800, [email protected], [email protected]), Fr. Deakin abused a teenaged Baltimore girl from 1986-88.

Fr. Caparella has not been prosecuted. But in 1990, Fr. Deakin pled guilty to criminal child sex charges.

According to the Official Catholic Directory, Fr. Caparella worked at Serra High School in McKeesport (412-751-2020) for five years 1967-1972. During those years, the school had nearly 500 students.

Deakin had been moved in 1987 by church authorities from Baltimore to the Pittsburgh diocese, according to depositions in the civil case.

Deakin was functioning as a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh when he was dismissed from the Capuchin order Dec. 13, 1989, for marrying a parishioner in Rochester, PA.

Fr. Caparella was ordained in 1966 and also worked in at least two other cities: Boston (at three churches and a hospital) and New York City (at one church facility). He died on March 31, 1991.

Thirty bishops have, under pressure, posted names of proven, admitted and credibly accused child molesting clerics on their diocesan websites.

No Pittsburgh bishop has done so, however. SNAP is urging Bishop David Zubik, for the protection of kids and the healing of victims,” to disclose the names. According to, there are at least 33 publicly accused Pittsburgh predator priests.

Fr. Caparella is at least the third Serra High School cleric who is accused of child sexual abuse. Father Michael LeDoux and Brother Kenneth Ghastin - have also been accused of molesting and cases against them have settled. Fr. LeDoux was there from 1995 to 2000. Br. Ghastin was there from 1983 to 1991. All three are Franciscans.

None of the four clerics – Caparelli, Deakin, LeDoux or Ghastin- are listed on the Pittsburgh Diocese website.

Fr. Caparella died in 1991. The whereabouts of the other three are unknown. Deakin reportedly left the priesthood and the Capuchin order in 1988, married, and went to work for a Pittsburgh department store. He is believed to be a Pittsburgh native.


David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell, [email protected]), Fran Unglo – Samber (717-514-9660, [email protected]), Barbara Dorris (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, [email protected])

Showing 2 comments

  • Michael Ference
    commented 2013-09-12 16:27:36 -0500
    I was hoping to run this as an advertisement in The Pitt News, but they turned me down. Thankfully, another University decided to run it.

    Attention University of Pittsburgh students and faculty:
    If you are drugged, raped and/or sodomized
    by a catholic priest from the Pittsburgh Diocese
    Here’s why.

    How do you cover-up crimes committed by Catholic priests in the Pittsburgh Diocese?
    It’s simple – Just Call 911.

    By Mike Ference.

    Sometime in the first quarter of 1987, former Catholic priest Father John Wellinger, pastor of Holy Spirit Church in West Mifflin, PA, part of the Pittsburgh Diocese, allegedly drugged a student/teenager attending the University of Pittsburgh. The crime allegedly took place in the student’s apartment that he shared with his brother, also a student at Pitt. The drug knocked the youth out for hours, when he awoke, he intuitively called 911. Sadly, that’s when his real nightmare began.

    Running down the stairs and into the street to meet the paramedics, the Pitt would be whisked away to Presbyterian University Hospital emergency room (now University of Pittsburgh Medical Center). He would be admitted, but never examined by a doctor. Keep in mind this young man was given some sort of drug, administered by a lay person, with very bad intentions, according to the student, he also consumed some alcohol, yet, no doctor wanted to be bothered by this type of case, allegedly.


    Could it be that the call to 911, answered by Pittsburgh paramedics, was the first step in alerting the Pittsburgh Diocese that one of their own had harmed another? Would diocesan officials then alert hospital officials to avoid contact with the patient?

    Or, is it more reasonable to assume that medical personnel, sworn to care for and help others in need would just say we can’t help this guy? I don’t think so. An emergency room doctor, spending so much money on med school and with so much to lose, would never make that call.

    Then why did the student leave Presbyterian University Hospital that day and receive no medical attention? Who paid the bill? These are all questions that I have asked of Paul Woods, Vice President & Chief Communications Officer at UPMC. To verify my story, Mr. Woods can be contacted at 412-647-6647, his cell phone number is 412-352-2058.

    To verify my story with another person feel free to contact former city of Clairton Public Safety Director William Scully. Scully gave me hand-written notes and plenty of information that was almost identical to the information given to me by the student/victim who was drugged and probably assaulted by Father John Wellinger. I still have the original notes Scully gave to me in the presence of another witness. These notes can be tested, I’m told, to determine the actual age of the paper and writing instruments.

    That’s a story for another day. To contact Bill Scully call ALCOSAN, one of the most corrupt government agencies in Pittsburgh, 412-766-4810. Scully is the director of security. Which means; he guards poop.

    If Paul Woods and Bill Scully refuse to answer your questions, I’ll send you a copy of the notes Bill Scully gave to me, and a transcript of an interview I have with a woman from Holy Spirit Church who went to the Pittsburgh Diocese to warn them about Father John Wellinger. She was turned away and labeled a gossip-hound.

    I’ve used the term allegation throughout this article; sadly, it appears the story was common knowledge among many Allegheny County residents.

    As an alumni of the University of Pittsburgh School of Social Work, 1970; I assure you I have no ax to grind with the school. I’m searching for the truth and justice. I trust these are sacred issues to current students and faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, maybe not.

    One more thing, there’s a paper trail form the Pittsburgh Diocese to the victim’s father. This will help to verify my story as well.

    After 25 years of investigating clergy abuse and corruption in the Pittsburgh Diocese and PA Government it seems the time is ripe to reopen an investigation into the attempted murder of my son.

    Since January of 2013 colleagues and I have forced the Pittsburgh Diocese to send out warning letters concerning three clerics that served within the jurisdiction of the Pittsburgh Diocese, Father Michael LeDoux, former headmaster at Serra Catholic High School, Brother Kenneth Ghastin, former monk and teacher at Serra Catholic High School and Father John Wellinger, former assistant at St. James Parish in Wilkinsburg.
  • @ tweeted this page. 2013-09-12 08:35:43 -0500
    #Pittsburgh Friends - Join us TODAY for a media event at 1:30 p.m. outside the Pittsburgh Catholic diocese HQ

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