Investigations into Catholic priest abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg is still in its infancy. Yet, for those of us who’ve witnessed and participated in similar investigations of priests in other dioceses around the country, there is a very real and dark sense of déjà vu.
This past Friday, the York Daily Record which broke the original story concerning the Diocese of Harrisburg, reported that three more priests who worked in the Diocese have been cited as potential abusers.
“The diocese confirmed credible allegations of abuse had been made against Robert Maher and George Koychick. The Daily Record is not naming the other priest at this time, as the allegation is still under investigation.
Koychick — The diocese said “credible allegations” against Koychick were made to the diocese in August 2003 about abuse that occurred in the 1970s, diocese spokesman Joseph Aponick said. Koychick had been stationed at St. Joseph’s in York from June 1953 to June 1957 and at St. Patrick’s in York from November 1967 to June 1981, Aponick said in an email. “Already being retired, and out of ministry, [Koychick] was formally forbidden to function in any capacity as a priest and law enforcement authorities were notified,” Aponick said. Koychick could not be reached for comment.
Maher — The diocese confirmed “credible allegations” against Maher were received in February 1994 from an incident that took place in the 1960s, Aponick said. According to “The Official Catholic Directory,” Maher worked at St. Vincent’s in Hanover in the 1960s and 1970s. Maher had been assigned to St. Rose of Lima in York from June 1937 to June 1939, Aponick said. He retired from ministry in May 1975 and died in June 1990, Aponick said. Aponick said law enforcement authorities were informed.”
The third priest has not been named by the newspaper since the investigation is ongoing.
It looks likely that Harrisburg will become another area of the country where Catholic priests preyed on young, innocent victims and were protected and transferred by the bishops of Harrisburg.
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