Retired priest: Concerns about sexual abuse were ignored
September 10, 2018
A retired Catholic priest says his concerns about sexual abuse in his diocese were initially ignored.
Father Ken Lasch says he contacted the Boston Diocese several months ago about allegations of sexual abuse in his parish in New Jersey. He contacted Boston because the cardinal there is also the chair of the Papal Commission on Sexual Abuse.
Lasch says that when he initially contacted Cardinal Sean O’Malley, he was told by O’Malley’s secretary that the incident was out of his jurisdiction.
Lasch detailed the abuse in a letter. He says that it stems back to the 1980s. He alleges that a current Paterson priest sexually abused an 18-year-old man who was looking to become a priest.
"He opened up with this particular deacon, the deacon befriended him. And after he was ordained a priest he groomed him into a relationship which was sexual and he had a sexual experience with that young man,” says Lasch.
Lasch says alcohol was involved when the abuse took place. He also alleges that the Diocese of Paterson covered it up.
Lasch says because the victim was not a minor, he was told it was consensual. The priest remained in his position.
Lasch says that he won’t stop fighting for the victim or others who could be out there.
"That’s why am taking this so seriously because if usually if there's one there may be others who have been overly influenced by this man,” he says.
The Boston Diocese has also changed its policies in the wake of Lasch’s allegations.
"When the cardinal receives any communication that deals with sexual abuse he will make it a personal matter. He will read it and he will follow up on it,” says Lasch.
New Jersey law enforcement officials are also getting involved in allegations of abuse by clergy. The New Jersey attorney general has set up a hotline to report sexual abuse in the church. That number is 855-363-6548.