Father Edmond Parrakow
Diocese of Greensburg
Ordained: 1968 (Archdiocese of New York)
Assigned to Diocese of Greensburg: 1986-1988
Sick leave: 1988-1994
Laicized (removed from priesthood): 2004
Assigned as follows:
- 1968 – 1969: Assumption Catholic Church, (Tuckahoe, NY)
- 1969 – 1973: St. Peter, (Yonkers, NY)
- 1973 – 1984: St. Martin of Tours, (Bronx, NY)
- 1985: Servants of the Paraclete, (Jemez Springs, NM)
- December 1985: Accepted into Greensburg Diocese
- 1985 – 1986: Holy Family Catholic Church, (Latrobe,PA)
- 1986 – 1989: St. Pius X Catholic Church, (Mount Pleasant, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Edmond Parrakow:
Fr. Edmond Parrakow was ordained a priest in 1968, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Greensburg. According to media reports, in 2018, he was first named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury report.
According to the Parrakow’s courtroom testimony:
Prosecution: “Okay. You didn’t know that Scripture itself says it is better to put a millstone around your neck and be cast into the sea than harm a child?”
Parrakow: “That, I knew.”
The report revealed, in 1985 the Archdiocese of New York received a complaint that Father Edmond Parrakow sexually abused a teenage boy at a previous assignment. The abuse in question allegedly occurred during Parrakow’s time at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in 1970. The Archdiocese of New York responded to the 1985 complaint by sending Parrakow to in-patient treatment at Foundation House, an evaluation and treatment facility regularly used for priests accused of sexual abuse of children.
During his 1985 stay at Foundation House, Parrakow admitted he was sexually attracted to – and acted out with – 15 and 16 year old boys. According to interviews, Parrakow believed that sex with females was a sin yet sexual intercourse with male children was not at all a violation of his faith. Doctors at Foundation House concluded Parrakow had pedophilia and that if he had not been reported in 1985, he would have continued the harmful behavior indefinitely. Parrakow admitted to molesting approximately thirty-five male children throughout his seventeen years in the priesthood.
As was often the case with priests accused of sexual abuse so egregious or so often that it made ministry in their home diocese too dangerous for the home diocese, Parrakow was told to seek a “benevolent bishop” who would allow him to work someplace else. When the Bishop of Greensburg agreed to allow Parrakow to minister there, the Archdiocese of New York sent a letter asking for them to accept Parrakow temporarily, promising he held “no unusual psychological problems.”
Bishop Connare of Greensburg requested a complete report on Parrakow’s treatment for consideration of his future assignment. This request, in itself, establishes that the Bishop of Greensburg was aware of Parrakow’s troubling history with children – and that he might still be a danger to parishioners.
There is a record of Foundation House sending Parrakow’s progress reports to the Archdiocese of New York; however, there is no evidence of the Archdiocese passing the information onto the Diocese of Greensburg. The reports also did not include Parrakow’s sexual abuse allegations; only the programs he participated in while at the facility. Yet, despite the absence of this information, the Diocese of Greensburg welcomed him anyway.
Later that same year, the Director of Foundation House mailed a letter to Bishop Connare advising him not to assign Father Parrakow to any parish attached to a school. The doctor stressed Parrakow pair with at least one another priest at all times and that he kept up with regular visits with his therapist, psychiatrist, and a qualified spiritual director. The Diocese of Greensburg ignored the instructions claiming that the nature of their diocese did not allow for such restrictions given the number of priests in the Diocese and its geography.
In 1989, another complaint was made against Parrakow on the grounds of inappropriate contact with a young boy. During a meeting with the victim’s parents, Parrakow reportedly became verbally abusive towards them, accusing them of abusing their son. This misconduct occurred while he was assigned in the Diocese of Greensburg.
After this incident, the Archdiocese of New York released the full record of Parrakow’s time at Foundation House including his admission to molesting thirty-five male children, to the Diocese of Greensburg. According to victim reports, Parrakow told altar boys not to wear clothing under their cassocks (clerical garments) as God did not want fabric touching their skin as they served Mass. One allegation against Father Parrakows said that he brought a group of boys into a private room for a thorough examination of alleged abuse happening within the school. Ironically, he told the boys there had been reports of sexual abuse at the school and he had to check for signs on their skin. None of the boys were allowed to tell their families, friends or any school administrators.
According to Parrakow’s testimony, he admitted to molesting children during his years as a priest but did not recall the names or an exact number of victims. In 1989 Parrakow was relieved of his assignments at the Greensburg Diocese yet was still living there in 2003. The Vatican formally removed Parrakow from the priesthood at his request in 2004.
As the statute of limitations has expired on the assaults committed in Pennsylvania, Parrakow cannot be tried for these crimes.
Parrakow is still living and was last seen working at a shopping mall in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania. He is seventy-eight-years-old.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Greensburg. 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 Greensburg may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.