6 Join Lawsuit Claiming Abuse by Catholic Nuns

The Associated Press
August 25, 2004

LOUISVILLE - Six plaintiffs joined a lawsuit Tuesday that accuses Roman Catholic nuns of molesting them as children and covering up the abuse.

Three of the plaintiffs - Patricia, Clifford and Elizabeth Hill - are siblings who lived at St. Thomas-St. Vincent Orphanage in Anchorage in the 1950s and 1960s, said their attorney, William McMurry.

McMurry is representing most of the 35 plaintiffs in the Jefferson County Circuit Court lawsuit against the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, an order based near Bardstown in Nelson County. The initial lawsuit was filed July 15.

Patricia and Elizabeth Hill claim the Rev. Herman J. Lammers, longtime Catholic Charities director and the orphanage's resident chaplain, molested them. Lammers, who has been accused by most of the plaintiffs, died in 1986.

The women also accuse five nuns - Sister Mary Ann Powers, Sister Mary Camilla Donahue, Sister James Patrick Cronin, Sister Anthony Louise Pereira and Sister Madeline de Paul Galantine. Powers and Donahue were named by other plaintiffs. All the nuns worked at the orphanage and are now dead.

Clifford Hill says in the lawsuit that Pereira and Galantine molested him and forced him to engage in sexual acts with other boys.

The other new plaintiffs are Frank Maerz, Patricia Spalding and Delores Matthews. Spalding and Matthews accused Lammers of rape. Maerz claims that two men, identified as Mr. Carney and Mr. Peak, molested him.

The Archdiocese of Louisville, which owned the orphanage, said it has not located any records for the men. The nuns staffed the orphanage, which was open 1952-83.

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