Fr. William Cawley – Diocese of Harrisburg
Ordained: 1973 (Diocese of Great Falls-Billings)
Named in Civil Lawsuit: 2012
Assigned in the Diocese of Harrisburg as follows:
- York Catholic High School (1998-2012)
Summary of Allegations against Fr. William Cawley:
Fr. William Cawley was not discussed in the August 2018 grand jury report. His name does appear on the Diocese of Harrisburg’s list of accused priests that was released the same month, however.
It appears from media reports and statements from the Diocese of Harrisburg that Cawley was a priest ordained by the Diocese of Great Falls-Billings in Montana. For reasons that are not clear, he began working in the Diocese of Harrisburg at York Catholic High School in 1998, rather than in his home diocese. In 2012, the Diocese of Harrisburg learned that Cawley was named in a civil lawsuit filed in Montana by a victim alleging abuse in the 1970s while Cawley worked in his home diocese.
As a result of the lawsuit, Cawley left his position at York Catholic High School and returned to Montana, the same statement said. However, earlier media reports indicate the Diocese of Harrisburg previously explained his departure by saying it was simply time for Cawley to retire.
The Diocese of Harrisburg claims it has no information that Cawley abused any children during his 14 years in the Diocese of Harrisburg.
Cawley is alive and may still be residing in the York, Pennsylvania, area.
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.