Fr. Thomas Lawler – Diocese of Harrisburg
Assigned as follows:
- 1955-1960 Sacred Heart (Lewiston, PA)/Scout Chaplain
- 1960 St. Aloysius (Littlestown, PA)
- 1960 Good Shepherd (Camp Hill, PA)
- 1960-1961 St. Vincent (Hanover, PA)
- 1961-1962 Annunciation BVM (McSherrystown, PA)
- 1969-1971 St. Peter (Columbia, PA)
- 1971-1987 Sacred Heart of Jesus (Lewisburg, PA)
Summary of Allegations against Father Thomas Lawler:
In 2014, a man reported to the Diocese of Harrisburg that he had been sexually abused as a teen by Fr. Thomas Lawler and that the abuse had been reported to police back in 1987. According to the man, he was 13 when the abuse began in 1985, and that it occurred in the basement of the Sacred Heart rectory where Lawler would crawl under a table, pull the boy’s pants down, and fondle his genitals and buttocks. He reported it to his parents, who apparently called police. Very soon thereafter, the man was told that Lawler had died so no police investigation would be conducted.
In 2002, another man reported that he was abused by Lawler in approximately 1963 when he was 10 years old. According to that allegation, Lawler put his hands inside the boy’s pants while hugging him, leading to fondling of the boy’s buttocks.
Lawler appears on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s August 2018 list of accused of priests, though all its disclosure states is that Lawler was twice accused after his death.
Lawler died in 1987 as a priest in good standing.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania. The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.