Fr. Robert F. Bower

Ordained: 1959
Status: Arrested

Diocese: Diocese of Erie PA

Arrested in 1999 on charges of downloading internet child pornography. Charges were later dropped on a legal technicality. Resigned from priesthood in 4/02 after a newspaper reported on his 1999 arrest. Three women said they had spoken with Bishop Michael Murphy in 1982 to complain that Bower had been receiving porn at church, but no action. One of them was fired from her job as Bower’s secretary. These women filed suit in 4/03 against the diocese, Bishop Trautman and retired Bishop Murphy, alleging slander after Trautman disparaged the women in a 2002 public letter and instructed priests to sermonize against them. The complaint was dismissed by a court; the dismissal was upheld 7/04. Named in the 8/14/18 PA Grand Jury Report. Died 7/25/20.


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