Archdiocese Suspends Priest after Child Sexual Abuse Allegations
By Tyler Waldman
May 21, 2018
The Archdiocese of Baltimore on Monday suspended the pastor of a Highlandtown church after someone alleged the pastor abused them multiple times in the 1970s.
Father Luigi Esposito, 77, is pastor at Our Lady of Pompei Church. The alleged abuse took place while Esposito was associate pastor there. The victim told the archdiocese that the abuse began when the victim was 14 and happened multiple times while the alleged victim was at the church.
"The Archdiocese of Baltimore is committed to protecting children and helping to heal victims of abuse," archdiocesan officials said in a statement. "We urge anyone who has any knowledge of any child sexual abuse to come forward, and to report it immediately to civil authorities."
In a statement, archdiocese officials said they have been cooperating with authorities and, with permission from investigators, met with Esposito last Thursday, May 17 to discuss the claims. He denied all allegations. Officials also spoke multiple times with the alleged victim, whose allegations remained consistent. Espositio was then suspended from ministry pending the outcome of its own investigation.
On Sunday, representatives of the archdiocese met with parishioners and staff at Esposito's church to tell them of the allegations and to answer questions. They are working with the parish to provide pastoral care.
The archdiocese has also offered counseling assistance to those affected.
In 1964, Luigi Esposito was ordained a priest of the Congregation of the Mission of St. Vincent de Paul, a religious order also known as the Vincentians, in Naples, Italy. He was incardinated, the process whereby a diocesan or religious order priest becomes a priest of another diocese, into the Archdiocese of Baltimore in 2000.
Anyone who suspects clergy or other church personnel of child sexual abuse is asked to report it to the proper authorities and to the Archdiocesan Office of Child and Youth Protection Hotline at 1-866-417-7469.