member of the Barnabite order of priests and former Provincial Superior of the order (in charge of all Barnabites throughout North America). Ordained 1972. Lawsuits filed in 2004 allege sex abuse in the late 70s of boys between the ages of 6 and 9.
In June 2010 Cheryl Thompson blogged that a Father Patil was said to have spent time in Ontario and was not listed with the Accused on Sylvia’s Site.
I did a bit of searching and blogged a reply. I had discovered that Patil had been at a St. James Church in Ontario, Canada. There are, however, a lot of St. James RC churches in Ontario. At that time I was unable to confirm in my own mind that it would have been St. James in Oakville (Diocese of Hamilton, Ontario). I tried emailing St. James and leaving messages for the superior of the order in Oakville, Ontario to find out if and when Patil may have been there. No reply. I did not at the time add Patil to the Accused list because I was uncertain where in Ontario he had been.
Today (13 January 2011) Father James Boudreau, a former Barnabite now serving in the Hamilton Diocese was charged. In compiling information on Boudreau I realized that, for a variety of reasons, the St. James Church in Ontario at which Patil spent time would have been St. James in Oakville, Ontario. I am now adding Gabriel Patil to the Accused list. I do not as yet know how long Patil was at St. James but I do know that at the very least he was back and forth and visited regularly.
Diocese Facing 2 More Lawsuits
One Priest Accused of Molestation Was at Becahi in the Late 1970s
Morning Call [Allentown PA] (BishopAccountability.org)
May 12, 2004
By Kathleen Parrish
Two more lawsuits alleging sexual abuse by priests in the Catholic Diocese of Allentown were filed Tuesday, too late for inclusion in today’s Lehigh County Court hearing to consider the church’s request to dismiss six other cases involving similar claims.
The new suits involve additional claims of molestation against the Rev. Gabriel Patil, a member of the Barnabite religious order, who is now pastor at St. James Church in Ontario, Canada, and the Rev. Richard Guiliani, who was principal of Cardinal Brennan High School in Schuylkill County when the alleged abuse occurred in 1976.
Today’s hearing, to decide whether the six sexual abuse cases against the Diocese of Allentown, Bishop Edward P. Cullen and retired Bishop Thomas J. Welsh can go forward, is being held before a panel of judges instead of just one.
Such a hearing is unusual, but in this case it’s practical. Although the cases were filed separately and assigned to different Lehigh judges, the issue of whether the statute of limitations has expired is the same in each.
In its petition for dismissal, the diocese is arguing the two-year deadline to file a civil case seeking money for alleged injuries has elapsed, considering the alleged abuses took place between 1965 and 1982.
The diocese is also asking Schuylkill County Court to dismiss two cases of alleged sexual abuse by priests on similar grounds, but a hearing date hasn’t been set.
In one of the lawsuits filed in Schuylkill County, Pottsville businessman Scott Greis alleges he was molested between 1978 and 1980 by Monsignor William E. Jones, then pastor of St. Vincent de Paul Church, Minersville.
On Monday, Jones died in Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. He was 70.
Attorney Jay Abramowitch of Wyomissing, near Reading, who along with Richard Serbin of Altoona is representing all of the alleged victims, said Jones’ death won’t affect the case because the diocese is the defendant.
It’s a legal tactic being employed in Abramowitch and Serbin’s suits across the state. By targeting dioceses for allegedly covering up the sexual abuse, the attorneys argue the statute of limitations didn’t begin until the alleged victims learned the churches knew about the abuses and hadn’t stopped them.
The clock on the two-year deadline starts ticking at different times for different people, Abramowitch said.
“When people find out that they weren’t the only ones abused, that’s when all this new injury started and the anger comes to the surface,” he said.
The argument seems to have held legal water in Blair County, where a judge recently ruled that nine lawsuits filed against the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and not the individual priests can proceed.
Also on Tuesday, Abramowitch and Serbin filed lawsuits on behalf of six people alleging sexual abuse by four priests and a nun against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and Cardinal Anthony Bevilacqua.
Serbin said it was coincidental that the two new lawsuits against the Allentown Diocese were filed one day before the dismissal hearing.
“We filed them today because we had the affidavits,” he said Tuesday. “It’s a long process. We are continually meeting with victims of childhood clergy abuse. Once they contact us, it’s not an overnight process.”
In one of the two suits filed Tuesday in Lehigh County, Janet Wychulis, 40, of Schuylkill County claims she was sexually abused by Guiliani in December 1976 when she was a student at Cardinal Brennan High.
According to the complaint, Wychulis, who was 16 at the time, said she was doing her homework in the school gymnasium when Guiliani asked her to accompany him to the store to buy Christmas gifts for his nieces and nephews. On the ride home, Guiliani asked her to retrieve something from the back of the car. As she was bending over the seat, he reached beneath her skirt and fondled her, the suit says.
In an earlier suit filed against Guiliani in Lehigh County, Patricia Beaumont, 46, of Lancaster County charged Guiliani molested her while she was a student and he a teacher at Notre Dame High School in Bethlehem Township.
The sexual abuse began in 1971 and culminated four years later when Guiliani visited her at college and proposed sexual intercourse and marriage, according to the suit.
The other new Lehigh County suit names Patil. It involves an unidentified accuser who said he was 9 in 1978 when Patil began molesting him, and the abuse continued for two years. The allegations mirror those made in a previous Lehigh suit filed by two unidentified men who say they were 6 and 7 when Patil began molesting them.
Patil, who was serving at Bethlehem Catholic High School at the time, would invite the boys to his home “under the guise of playing hide-and-seek,” and then molest them, the suits say.
In response to the new suits, the Allentown Diocese issued a written statement saying the most recent allegation is 20 years old. Furthermore, investigations conducted two years ago by district attorneys from the five counties in the diocese concluded that at no time did the diocese discourage victims from contacting police, intimidate them or violate a law.
The diocese’s intent to defend itself in court shouldn’t detract from its commitment to “prevent the abuse of children and youth and to respond quickly to meet the pastoral needs of those who have been abused in the past,” the statement said.
That can’t be accomplished if the truth isn’t disclosed, officials of Survivors Network for those Abused by Priests wrote in a letter Monday to Cullen.
SNAP National Director David Clohessy and David Cerulli, director of the New York City SNAP chapter, who said he was abused as an altar boy in Allentown, appealed to Cullen to allow the sexual abuse suits to proceed.
“We strongly urge you not to use any conceivable legal maneuver to avoid consequences for abuse by priests in the Allentown Diocese and the subsequent cover-up of these crimes,” the men wrote. “Help victims heal and promote the protection of children by insuring that all the facts of this terrible tragedy are known and those responsible held accountable.”
Besides Schuylkill and Lehigh, the diocese covers Berks, Northampton and Carbon counties.
Four More Accuse Priests of Sex Abuse
Three Clerics Named in Lawsuits against Allentown Diocese.
The Morning Call [Allentown PA]
By Kathleen Parrish [email protected]
Downloaded March 5, 2004 (from BishopAccountability.org)
Saying he wanted to show that the extent of sexual abuse by Catholic priests is far greater than what was reported in a national study, a Berks County attorney on Thursday filed three new lawsuits against the Diocese of Allentown on behalf of four people.
The suits – two of which were filed in Lehigh County and one in Schuylkill County – bring the total number of lawsuits against the diocese alleging sexual abuse by priests to eight. All of the alleged victims are being represented by attorneys Jay Abramowitch of Wyomissing, near Reading, and Richard Serbin of Altoona.
Named in the suits are the Revs. William J. Shields, who died in 2000; Francis J. McNelis, who retired in 2002 and is residing in Holy Family Villa in Bethlehem; and Gabriel Patil, a member of the Barnabite religious order who is now pastor of St. James Church in Ontario, Canada.
The only accuser named is Vincent Catizone Jr. of Girardville, Schuylkill County. One of the accusers in Lehigh County is identified as John Doe II and the other two by their initials.
Each suit consists of 12 counts. The defendants are seeking damages of more than $50,000 for each count.
The complaints detail abuse that allegedly occurred between 1966 and 1980 when the accusers – all boys – were between ages 6 and 13.
“We’re filing them in response to the John Jay report,” said Abramowitch, referring to a survey compiled by the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York City. “There’s a great many more coming.”
The study, commissioned by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, shows that 4 percent or almost 5,000 priests and deacons nationwide – including 27 in the Allentown Diocese – were accused of sexually abusing children from 1950 to 2002.
Victims’ advocates are skeptical of the study because the numbers were provided by the dioceses rather than independent investigators.
Diocesan spokesman Matt Kerr said Shields and McNelis were among the 27 priests who were investigated by the district attorneys of the counties in the diocese – Lehigh, Berks, Carbon, Northampton and Schuylkill – for sexually abusing minors.
“The district attorneys concluded that investigation, and no prosecutable cases in the five counties were found,” Kerr said in a prepared statement.
The statute of limitations in all the cases had expired.
“One of the accused diocesan priests is dead,” Kerr said. “Under diocesan policy, the other diocesan priest is not in active ministry. The third accused priest is a member of a religious order, the Barnabite Fathers, and is not incardinated as a priest of the Diocese of Allentown.” (To be incardinated is to be instituted as the chief priest of a church or place.)
But that doesn’t preclude members of the Barnabite Order from saying Mass. The local community was founded in 1971, and its priests have served as weekend assistants in parishes in the Allentown Diocese, as chaplains at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, and as leaders of retreats and spiritual seminars.
Contacted by phone at St. James in Ontario, Patil said he had been notified of the suit but had no comment. Calls to the Barnabite Spiritual Center in Bethlehem Township were not returned.
The suit naming Patil involves two accusers who say they were 6 and 7 in 1978 when he began to molest them and that the abuse continued for two years.
Patil, who was serving at Bethlehem Catholic High School at the time, would invite the boys to his home “under the guise of playing hide-and-seek,” and then molest them, the suit says.
The suit on behalf of John Doe II says he was an altar boy at St. Ann’s Church in Lansford when Shields sexually abused him in 1972 after a church-sponsored game of bingo. According to the suit, the 13-year-old boy and a friend carried the bingo proceeds to Shields at St. Ann’s rectory, where the priest invited the boys to stay and eat treats.
Shields later dismissed the other boy and asked John Doe II to remain in the rectory. He directed the teen to the couch in the TV room and began to massage him. Eventually, Shields unbuttoned the boy’s pants and fondled him, the suit says.
When the boy left the rectory, Shields told him, “Let this be our little secret,” according to the suit.
Catizone, who was 10 in 1966 when McNelis allegedly began to abuse him, was an altar boy and parishioner at St. Joseph’s in Girardville.
According to the suit, McNelis performed sex acts on Catizone in his bedroom, his car, the rectory garage and other rooms in the rectory.
The abuse continued for two to three years until Catizone was 13, the suit says.
As with the previous lawsuits, Abramowitch and Serbin are suing the Allentown Diocese; Bishop Thomas Welsh, former head of the diocese; and Bishop Edward Cullen because the two-year statute of limitations against individual priests has expired.
The suits contend the diocese engaged in a systematic coverup to conceal the abuse by transferring troubled priests to other assignments without revealing past allegations.
St. Ambrose in Schuylkill Haven, 1958-60;
St. John the Baptist de La Salle in Shillington, 1960-62;
St. Mary’s, Hamburg, February-September 1962;
Annunciation BVM in Shenandoah, 1962-67;
St. Paul’s in Allentown, 1967-68;
St. Lawrence in Catasauqua, 1968-69;
St. Ann’s in Lansford, 1969-72;
St. Peter’s in Reading, 1972-74;
St. Nicholas in Weatherly, 1974-95.
Annunciation BVM in Shenandoah, 1965-66;
St. Joseph’s in Girardville, 1966-69;
St. Jerome’s in Tamaqua, 1969-70;
St. Theresa’s in Hellertown, June-September 1970;
St. John Baptist de La Salle in Shillington, 1970-72;
St. Jane Frances de Chantal in Easton, 1972-74;
St. Ann’s in Emmaus, 1974-75;
St. Mary’s and St. Boniface in St. Clair, 1975-85;
St. Mary’s in Hamburg, 1985-93;
St. Ignatius in Sinking Spring, 1993-2002.
Member of Barnabite Fathers, a religious order named after St. Barnabas. Its clerics are bound by vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. The local community in Bethlehem was founded in 1971.
In 1990 he was promoted to Provincial Superior of the Barnabite Fathers. He is now pastor of St. James Church in Ontario, Canada.