Father Francis Siler
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Ordained: May 1963
Withdrawn from active ministry: July 2002
Assigned as follows:
- 5/20/1963 -6/14/1970: Nativity (Broughton, PA)
- 6/15/1970 -12/05/1972: St. Bernard (Mt Lebanon, PA)
- 12/06/1972- 8/07/1974: St. Titus (Aliquippa, PA)
- 8/08/1974 -5/20/1975: Leave of Absence
- 5/21/1975 -10/10/1976: St. Catherine (Wildwood, PA)
- 10/11/1976- 2/07/1983: St. Margaret (New Castle, PA)
- 2/08/1983 -5/02/1984: St. Catherine (Wildwood, PA)
- 5/12/1984 -6/30/1985: St. Agnes (West Mifflin, PA)
- 7/01/1985 -2/23/1986: Leave of Absence, Health Reasons
- 2/24/1986 -9/27/1987: Allegheny Valley Hospital, PA)
- 9/27/1987 -2/25/2002: St. Mary Mercy (Pittsburgh, PA)
- 2/25/2002 -7/05/2002: Leave of Absence
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Francis Siler:
Father Francis Siler was ordained a priest in 1963, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, Diocesan records revealed a reference made in a St. Bernadine Clinic report that Father Siler had “sexual problems with adolescents” in 1972. As a result, Bishop Leonard changed Siler’s assignment.
In a 1985 memorandum written to Bishop Bevilacqua, a priest recounted that Frank Siler made a pass at a young boy whose father was a policeman. The irate father was about to take the matter to court, which necessitated the quick removal of Father Siler from the post.
In 1994, an adult male came to see Siler in order to confront him about molesting him as a child. After being confronted by the man, Siler required hospitalization at St. Francis for suicidal feelings. Thereafter, he was sent to St. Luke Institute Continuing Care Workshop.
During a workshop held in May 1994, St. Luke’s expressed concern that Siler was engaging in parish ministry. The concern was that because he had a history of sexual behavior with minors, and since he had been experiencing relapse behavior around sexual issues, there was some concern about the possibility of his behavior with minors recurring. It was suggested that Siler avoid all contact and ministry with minors.
In 1995, an adult male reported to the Diocese of Pittsburgh that Siler fondled him on several occasions when he was an altar boy at St. Catherine church and in the second or third grade. Siler denied the allegations. Some of the dates provided by the male did not correspond to Siler’ s age or assignment at the time, however, Siler was placed in restricted ministry.
In December 2002, another allegation of sexual abuse was made against Siler. An adult male reported that Siler had touched him inappropriately when he was a child. This occurred in a church in Beaver County between 1972 and 1973. The male demanded answers from the Diocese as to what happened with Siler and why he was “protected.”
In November 2011, the Diocese received another report of sexual abuse by Siler that occurred between 1972 and 1974 at a Beaver County church. An adult male reported that Siler had groped and fondled him through his clothes when he was just a child.
Francis Siler died in 2015 and is buried in Queen of Heaven Catholic Cemetery in McMurray, Washington County, Pennsylvania.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. 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 Pittsburgh may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us.