Philadelphia Archdiocese Faces New Abuse Lawsuit

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The Archdiocese of Philadelphia (AOP) faces new accusations of covering up clergy sexual abuse and misconduct. A lawsuit filed last Tuesday alleges the AOP’s failure to disclose previous complaints regarding Father Kevin McGoldrick enabled his 2017 abuse of a college student in Nashville, TN. 

Catholics4Change began covering the McGoldrick case in 2020. Here’s the bullet point breakdown of our coverage:

  • Susanna,* a student at Aquinas College in Nashville, TN, filed a complaint in 2019 with Church investigators two years after her alleged sexual assault by McGoldrick, an AOP priest assigned there as a chaplain.
  • Before his Nashville assignment, McGoldrick’s work in the AOP was erratic and concerning. Within ten years of ordination, he had five parish assignments, one high school chaplaincy, one leave of absence, one short stint as a religious order novice with a name change, and one unassigned year. 
  • Sources say the AOP received a complaint in 2013 about McGoldrick’s alleged inappropriate behavior toward young adult women during his ministry in Philadelphia.
  • An alleged victim, Yvonne,* claims AOP investigators initially contacted her during a 2013 investigation of another person’s complaints. Uncomfortable with their approach, Yvonne declined to participate but later filed her own complaint in November 2020. She claims the investigation halted when McGoldrick’s voluntary laicization was finalized in 2021. She also claims AOP investigators told her that her details corroborate information they received in 2013. Update 5/1 The Archdiocese of Philadelphia has never announced any investigation into McGoldrick however Yvonne claims to have been contacted by investigators previously in 2013. She claims to have been told that her information given in 2020-2021 corroborated details in a previous investigation.
  • The AOP refuses to release McGoldrick’s assignment record and will not confirm or deny a 2013 complaint and investigation.
  • The AOP has never publicly announced or published McGoldrick’s removal from ministry in 2019 or that Archbishop Chaput found an allegation in Susanna’s complaint credible in 2020. They confirmed both in an email response to Catholics4Change and individual press inquiries.
  • The AOP conducts many of its investigations secretly, and while under investigation, priests often remain in their assignments. 

Important note: In general, laicization does not impact civil or criminal investigations.

*Names have been changed.

3 thoughts on “Philadelphia Archdiocese Faces New Abuse Lawsuit

  1. I am disgusted by this continuing cover up as lives of underage women are destroyed by this evil rapist. Why is this evil human not in jail? Keep covering up and wonder why people don’t trust the organization. Keep hiding behind your lawyers paid for with our donations. Jesus must be very unhappy.

    1. Hi Tom, I just wanted to clarify that in the Nashville investigation and the Philadelphia investigation (which the Archdiocese will not confirm or deny) the alleged victims were over the age of 18 years old. What is written or alleged on other new sites might be from information gathered somewhere other than C4C.

  2. And still no transparency at the AOP. At least they are consistent. Yet they continue to question why so many of us have left them.

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