A Holmesburg man who alleged he was molested at a Northeast Catholic parish school, was among nine plaintiffs who filed eight lawsuits against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, its leadership and seven priests.
At a Center City news conference, Andrew Druding of Vista Street said he was repeatedly raped by Monsignor Francis Feret when Druding was a 9-year-old boy at St. Timothy R.C. Church’s school on the 3000 block of Levick St.
“I’ve been impacted every day of my life,” Druding said.
The city’s Roman Catholic archdiocese in May found Feret unsuitable for ministry after investigating sexual misconduct allegations against him for more than a year.
Druding said he was outraged that the reason Feret was ruled unsuitable was for “boundary violations,” not for raping him. He said he was later told his case wasn’t part of the archdiocese’s decision on Feret.
Feret was pastor of St. Adalbert parish in Port Richmond in 2011 when then-Cardinal Justin Rigali put him on leave.
Most plaintiffs who file suits in molestation cases do so as either John or Jane Does, but Druding was one of three who made their identities public. Druding and Michael McDonnell spoke at a news conference on Sept. 18 called by their attorneys, Marci Hamilton, Dan Monahan and Jeff Anderson. The third alleged victim, Michael Dale, was not present, nor were the unnamed plaintiffs.
Druding, who is now 51, said Feret repeatedly molested him between October 1970 and June 1972. In his lawsuit, Druding stated he complained about the abuse to a teacher. He said he was brought to the school’s “mother superior,” who was not named in the lawsuit, who asked him if he knew what lying was.
He didn’t complain again, he said, until 2006, when he saw Feret was officiating at the funeral of slain Philadelphia Police Officer Gary Skerski. He said he was astounded Feret still was a priest.
The attorneys said the suits they filed bring their total complaints against the archdiocese to 16 for 17 molestation victims.
Besides Feret, suits were filed against former priest Edward Avery, the Rev. Robert L. Brennan, the Rev. Joseph Gallagher, the Rev. John Mulholland, the Rev. John Schmeer and former priest Francis X. Trauger.
Also named in all the lawsuits are the archdiocese, its current leader, Archbishop Charles Chaput, Rigali and Monsignor William Lynn. Individual parishes also were named in the separate suits.In a statement, the archdiocese said it had not received copies of the lawsuits and couldn’t provide any information on them.••EndFragment