Fr. Michael S. Lawrence

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Ordained: 1973
Status: Sued

Diocese: Diocese of Allentown PA

Concerns about Lawrence’s behavior as early as 1970 while in seminary. In 2002 a man alleged that Lawrence molested him at age 12 during a tutoring session in 1982 at St. Catharine of Siena in Mount Penn. He said told his parents immediately when he returned home, sobbing, and that his father called the church. The next day his father met with the diocese’s top administrator. Lawrence admitted to molesting the boy and was gone the next day, sent to St. John Vianney in Downingtown for treatment. He was back in a parish assignment within a year. The boy’s father complained again to Bishop Welsh in1986 and 1994; Welsh removed him from parish work but assigned him to the Diocesan Tribunal. Welsh retired in 1998. Lawrence wasn’t removed until 2002. A civil suit was filed in 2004. In 11/09 a reported to the diocese that Lawrence sexually abused him at age 13. Lawrence died in 4/15. Named in 8/14/18 PA Grand Jury Report.


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