Four men filed a lawsuit against the Catholic Diocese of Scranton, Pa., and its current and former bishops August 28, claiming sexual abuse by a priest and cover-up by the diocese.
The men say Father Michael Pulicare sexually assaulted them as children and accuse the diocese of conspiracy and fraud in concealing widespread abuse that Church leaders knew about for decades, the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reports.
Pulicare died in 1999. The statute of limitations to file suit on the abuse has expired, as Pennsylvania law requires that childhood sexual abuse victims file lawsuits prior to turning 30. The men, some of whom are in their fifties, are instead suing over the alleged cover-up, the report said, and they are part of an increasing number of alleged clergy abuse victims pursuing this alternate course to challenge the Church in court.
At least eight similar lawsuits have been filed in Pennsylvania since a state appeals court ruled in June that one suit accusing the Altoona-Johnstown diocese of a conspiracy to cover up abuse could proceed, the WSJ report said.
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