Father Stephen Forish
Diocese of Allentown
Assigned as follows:
- 1972-1973: St. Anthony of Padua (Easton, PA)
- 1973-1974: Holy Rosary (Reading, PA)
- 1974-1975: Newman Club (Allentown, PA)
- 1975-1976: St. Elizabeth (Whitehall, PA)
- 1976-1978: St. Joseph (Limeport, PA)
- 1978-1979: St. Peter (Coplay, PA)
- 1979-1982: St. Ursula (Fountain Hill, PA)
- 1982-1991: Our Lady of Good Counsel (Gordon, PA)
- 1991-1994: Holy Family Villa residence/graduate studies (Bethlehem, PA)
- 1994-1996: Our Lady Help of Christians (Allentown, PA)
- 1997: Not Listed in Official Catholic Directory
- 1998-1999: Holy Family Villa residence (Bethlehem, PA)
- 1999-2007: Not Listed in Official Catholic Directory
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Stephen Forish:
Fr. Stephen Forish was ordained a priest in 1972, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Allentown. According to media reports, in 1996, a 22-year-old man accused Forish of approaching him and offering money for sex in Bethlehem. The man said that when he refused, Forish asked him if he knew any 15-year-olds who would be interested. Forish was tried on charges that included attempting to promote prostitution of children, but was later acquitted.
Also in 1996, McAdoo police acknowledged they had been keeping close tabs on Forish after six parents complained the priest had tried to “lure” their children at various times since 1990. None of those complaints led to charges.
Forish remained a priest, though not in active ministry, when he was arrested Aug. 6, 2006, after approaching a 26-year-old man in Greensburg and asking for “sexual favors.” According to state police in the Westmoreland County, the young man was one of four men Forish approached that night, police said. At the time of his death in 2006, the prosecution was ongoing.
The arrest led to questions about how the Diocese of Allentown monitors priests accused of sexual misconduct. The answer given in 2006 was simple: it doesn’t. According to a media report, the “diocese said it had not kept tabs on the 61-year-old priest since he voluntarily withdrew from active ministry and took a job as a psychologist in western Pennsylvania, despite 1996 charges of seeking sex from a Bethlehem man and public complaints about his behavior with children in his hometown of McAdoo, Schuylkill County.”
“Matt Kerr, diocese spokesman, said the diocese did not keep track of Forish because he was acquitted of the 1996 charges and there were no other complaints against him in his diocese file.”
At the time of his death, Forish was working as a psychologist in private practice and residing in McAdoo, Pennsylvania, where police had been “keeping tabs on him.” According to media reports, his biography indicated he specialized in family and child therapy.
In 2018, his name was included on the Diocese of Allentown list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse.
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.