Mystery Surrounds Ad Seeking Priest's History
By C.J. Wilson
Charleston Gazette (West Virginia)
February 28, 1994
A Wheeling law firm is not commenting on an advertisement that the firm placed in a Charleston newspaper requesting background information about a deceased Roman Catholic priest.
The ad, which appeared in the Sunday Gazette-Mail, asked for information concerning the Rev. Victor Frobas, who was an associate pastor at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church in St. Albans between 1965 and 1966.
Patrick Cassidy of the law firm Cassidy Myers Cogan & Voegelin said Sunday the investigation "deals with a private matter." He would not comment further.
Cassidy also declined to comment on how many calls he has received from the Charleston area.
Richard Cain, a spokesman for the Roman Catholic Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston, said he has seen the firm's ads and is "flabbergasted that they have appeared." He said he is unaware of any complaints regarding Frobas.
"I believe a suit has either been filed or may be in the process of being filed, but I cannot state any further," Cain said. As to why the firm placed an ad requesting information, he said he would only be speculating that the law firm is exploring legal action regarding Frobas.
According to an obituary published in the Diocese's July newsletter, Frobas died July 11, 1993, in St. Louis after a long illness attributed to cancer and diabetes. The obituary said Frobas was active in the Wheeling diocese in the late '60s and early '70s
The current pastor at St. Francis, the Rev. Patrick M. McDonough, said he knew Frobas, but not well.
McDonough said he thought Frobas moved from St. Albans to work at Camp Tygart, a camp operated by the Wheeling-Charleston Diocese about 4 miles south of Huttonsville on U.S. 219. The summer camp offers workshops for boys and girls between ages 7 and 14.
McDonough said he thought Frobas also worked for a brief time in Wheeling.
McDonough said he did not know why a Wheeling law firm would be investigating Frobas' background.
***CLARIFICATION*** RICHARD CAIN OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC DIOCESE OF WHEELING-CHARLESTON SAID HE WAS AWARE THAT A LAWSUIT WAS BEING PREPARED REGARDING VICTOR FROBAS, A FORMER ASSOCIATE PASTOR OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI CATHOLIC CHURCH IN ST. ALBANS. ALSO, CAIN SAID HE IS NOT THE OFFICIAL SPOKESMAN FOR THE DIOCESE. ***END CLARIFICATION***
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