Abusive Priest Fled to Poland: Suit

A new priest-abuse lawsuit accuses church and local authorities of letting a Philadelphia-area priest flee to Poland during a stalled investigation.

The lawsuit says the priest assaulted a woman last year while counseling her at a Roman Catholic shrine in Bucks County.

The woman volunteered at Our Lady of Czestochowa in Doylestown.

"Sadly, it is not uncommon to hear reports of priests abusing women who come to them for counseling," said Barbara Dorris, the outreach director for the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (SNAP). "Predators often prey on these vulnerable adults as they go through a time in their life full of uncertainty and doubt, which makes the abuse all the more damaging."

The Associated Press is not naming the accused priest because he could not be reached for comment.

He belongs to the Pauline Fathers, a religious order at the shrine.

A woman who answered the phone Wednesday said the Pauline supervisors were "in prayer" and not available for comment.

The lawsuit also accuses Bucks County prosecutors and Philadelphia Archdiocese officials of failing to pursue the complaint and letting the priest flee.

Neither office immediately returned phone messages.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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