Woman, Priest Say Abuser Still in Public Ministry

By Matt C. Abbott
Renew America [Pennsylvania]
July 1, 2006

Judith Weiss Collins of Lehigh Valley, Pa., alleges that a priest of the Allentown diocese[] — still in public ministry — raped her at gunpoint on two separate occasions, once in 1985 and once in 1988.

She also alleges she had been ritually abused by the same priest from 1961 through 1968 on the property of St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in the Philadelphia archdiocese. She was 9-years-old in 1961.

Collins says she did report the two alleged rapes to the assistant DA in Northampton County in 2002; the alleged ritual abuse was reported to the DA's office in Philadelphia; and Crime Victims Council[] was notified in 1985 and again in 2002. She also says two diocesan officials found her account credible and apologized to her, but that the accused priest denied the allegations when confronted by the bishop.

Collins is being assisted by Newark priest Father Robert Hoatson, who has been featured and quoted in several of my previous columns.

Hoatson and Collins plan to leaflet the parish at which the accused priest serves (located in Bethlehem, Pa.) in the near future.

Father Robert Hoatson can be reached at

Matt C. Abbott is a Catholic journalist and commentator. He is a columnist for and/or contributor to,,,,, and He can be reached at


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