A Message for the York Catholic Family about the Diocese of Harrisburg Press Conference

York Catholic High School
August 03, 2018

A Message for the York Catholic Family:

As you may have already read, Father William Cawley, who taught at York Catholic from 1988 until 2012, was included on the list of priests with allegations released by the Diocese of Harrisburg on August 1, 2018. The Diocese was clear that this was a list of accusations and they did not make assessments of credibility or guilt in creating the list.

Father Cawley was listed under the section including cases where abuse was alleged to have occurred in another Diocese.  In 2012, the Diocese of Harrisburg received a report from a 2012 lawsuit in the state of Montana that Father Cawley was accused of sexual abuse of a child prior to his tenure working in the Diocese of Harrisburg.  Father Cawley left the Diocese of Harrisburg in 2012 as a result of these allegations.  According to Diocesan and York Catholic records, there were no known allegations before the lawsuit in 2012.

As Bishop Gainer said when he released this list, we are all filled with great sadness as we confront the horror that innocent children were the victims of egregious acts committed against them. We express our profound sorrow and apologize to the survivors of child sex abuse, the Catholic faithful, and the general public for the abuses that took place and for the officials who failed to protect children.

York Catholic supports the Diocese of Harrisburg’s steadfast efforts to ensure this chapter of history never repeats itself.  For information on how to report concerns related to child abuse or to learn about Diocesan procedures regarding Youth Protection please visit

Click here for a letter from Bishop Gainer to members of the Diocesan community.


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