DIOCESE OF ERIE UPDATES ITS LIST OF PUBLIC DISCLOSURES
When The Most Rev. Lawrence T. Persico, bishop of Erie, authorized the April 6, 2018 publication of 51 names of persons who were credibly accused of actions that, in the diocese’s judgment, disqualify each person from working with children, he promised that additional names would be added to the list as new information came to light.
The original list was updated on May 18, 2018, with six new names. Today, another seven new names, two of which are still under investigation, have been added to the website because of courageous survivors and witnesses coming forward and assisting various investigative processes. The full list can be found at www.ErieRCD.org/childprotection/disclosure.html.
Among the new names listed is Father William A. Rice, retired and living in Fryburg, Pa. The Diocese of Erie has received allegations of sexual harassment concerning Father William A. Rice involving both children and adults. Following diocesan policy, law enforcement was informed, an independent investigation was launched, and Bishop Persico placed him on administrative leave. Father Rice has been informed he is to refrain from all public ministry while the investigation continues. He is to have no contact with children.
Anyone who may have knowledge of these situations or who has been affected by similar improprieties is encouraged to report that information through any of the outlets listed at the end of this release.
New names added to the list (living)
Charles R. Cooper — Lanexa, Virginia Former lay teacher
New names added to the list (deceased)
Father G. Matthew Daly Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)
Msgr. James Hopkins Was able to function (abuse reported after his death)
Msgr. Louis Lorei Believed to have died restricted from ministry (records unclear as to final status)
Vincent “Vance” Valentine Former lay school employee
New names under investigation:
Jonathan Borkowski — Fairview, Pennsylvania
Fr. William A. Rice—retired, Fryburg, Pennsylvania
The Diocese of Erie, in collaboration with its independent investigators at the Pittsburgh-based K&L Gates law firm, will continue investigating all allegations brought forth.
Pastoral care and compassion for victims, as well as the protection of children and vulnerable adults, is a top priority of the Diocese of Erie. The diocese encourages anyone who has experienced sexual abuse or misconduct by a member of the clergy or any employee or volunteer of the church to contact law enforcement. To report abuse to the independent investigators retained by the Diocese of Erie, email ErieRCD@KLGates.com. Victims or concerned individuals also are welcome to contact the diocese directly to report abuse at 814.451.1543. In addition, anyone can directly report suspected abuse of minors by anyone to PA ChildLine by calling 800.932.0313. The line is open 24/7, and callers may choose to remain anonymous. Counseling assistance is available for victims and/or their families through the diocesan victim assistance coordinator, Dr. Robert Nelsen, who can be reached at 814.451.1521.