Father Paul Puza
Diocese of Allentown
Assigned as follows:
- 1975-1976: St. Bernard/Lafayette College (Easton, PA)
- 1976-1977: Regional Director of Vocations/St. Anne (Bethlehem, PA)
- 1977-1978: Central Catholic High School/St. Joseph (Reading, PA)
- 1978-1981: St. Casimir/Catholic Scouting (Shenandoah, PA)
- 1981: St. Anthony (Easton, PA)
- 1981-1983: St. Stanislaus Kostka (Minersville, PA)
- 1983-1989: St. Anthony of Padua (Cumbola, PA)/Nativity BVM H.S. (Pottsville, PA)
- 1989-2002: St. Richard (Barnesville, PA)/Marian High School (Tamaqua, PA)
- 2002: Retired
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Paul Puza:
Fr. Paul Puza was ordained a priest in 1975, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Allentown. According to media reports, in 1991, the Diocese received a report from a seminarian that he had been molested by Puza as an 8th grade student. The 2018 PA Grand Jury report is not clear when or where this incident occurred, but does state that Puza admitted to at least one incident of sexual contact with the boy.
Puza maintained the child was a senior in high school, not in middle school as he said, however. Such a distinction is important under Canon (Church) law because a 16-year-old could consent to such activity (even if Pennsylvania criminal law said otherwise). At the time, Puza was already in therapy for undisclosed issues, but the therapist readily informed the Chancery in Allentown that Puza maintained this was the only minor he had sexual contact with; everyone else he had engaged in physical contact with was an adult.
In 1995, a high school student reported to the Diocese of Allentown that he was sexually abused by Puza. According to the grand jury report, Puza admitted to the contact with the student when confronted in 2002, though no explanation is given as to why the Diocese of Allentown allowed Puza to continue in ministry for 7 years before asking him about it. Puza resigned from his ministry a few days later.
He was laicized by the Vatican in 2010. Until that time, the Diocese of Allentown listed him as a retired priest in the Official Catholic Directory. Puza is still living and believed to be residing in the Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania area.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Allentown. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Allentown may have legal options against the Diocese of Allentown.