On June 12, 2019, the Diocese of Greensburg announced the voluntary retirement of Msgr. Michael Matusak, a priest accused of sexually abusing a minor child, as detailed in the August 2018 grand jury report. The Diocese says that Matusak's age - not the allegation of abuse - is what led to his retirement, even though he should have been stripped of his faculties and title long ago after the Diocese determined that the allegation was credible in 2018.
But why didn't Bishop Malesic tell the public that there is at least one more allegation of sexual abuse against Matusak? In March of this year, the Diocese was made aware of a second claim of abuse by a woman who says that she was sexually abused by Matusak from 1973 to 1976 while he was a deacon preparing for his ordination at St. Hedwig in Smock, and continuing after Matusak's ordination as a priest. The woman also says that Matusak stalked and harassed her for nearly 20 more years, even telling her that he would leave the priesthood for her.
Withholding this kind of information from the public is misleading and dangerous. It undermines the credibility of the woman whose allegation was identified in the grand jury report by continuing to present it as a "he-said, she-said," when there is additional evidence to suggest that Matusak is a danger to children. This is another example of America's bishops failing at their promises of transparency and openness - and the importance of the public and the media in holding them accountable. Public safety depends upon it and survivors deserve better.
Adam Horowitz is a nationally-recognized advocate for survivors of sexual assault and abuse. Though based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, he has represented victims and survivors of abuse nationwide for nearly two decades. In 2018, he obtained a jury verdict of more than $70M for a woman raped on a luxury yacht in South Florida. He has been quoted by hundreds of media outlets worldwide.