With Little Fanfare, Exton’s Dan Monahan Has Found a Measure of Closure for Survivors of Clergy Abuse

Main Line Today

August 5, 2020

By J.F. Pirro

Monahan has represented dozens of clergy abuse victims while grappling with his own story.

He’s 67 now, but Dan Monahan was once an altar boy serving Roman Catholic masses in rural Connecticut. At his small church, Father Y (the only name he knew the priest by) was revered. “We were told that he was God on earth,” says Monahan, who’s now a personal injury lawyer in Exton. “And so we were indoctrinated.”

During one mass, delivered in Latin, Monahan wet his pants rather than abandon the altar. “Don’t worry,” the priest told him. “We’ll clean it up.”

Now, after more than a decade of disclosure after disclosure involving sexual abuse among the clergy, Monahan reflects on the cunning, programmatic behavior among those in purple garb. “It was like there was a playbook,” he says. “They picked on kids whose fathers were alcoholics, or whose mothers were overly devoted. They gave boys chores—ways we could help. It was like they were all given a manual on how to groom.”

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