Fr. John W. Rebel – Diocese of Pittsburgh

| Dec 20, 2018 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father John Rebel

Diocese of Pittsburgh

Ordained: May 1965
Died: 2013

Assigned as follows:

  • 5/13/1965 – 6/6/1967: St. Bernard (Mt. Lebanon, PA)
  • 6/7/1967 – 8/27/1967: St. Veronica (Ambridge, PA)
  • 8/28/1967 – 9/19/1968: St. Joseph (Verona, PA)
  • 9/20/1968 – 5/22/1973: St. Michael (Elizabeth, PA)
  • 5/23/1973 – 8/15/1974: Leave of Absence
  • 6/8/1973 – 8/15/1974: St. Kieran (Lawrenceville, PA)
  • 8/16/1974 – 11/4/1976: Assumption (Bellevue, PA)
  • 11/5/1976 – 6/29/1981: St. Margaret Mary (Moon Township, PA)
  • 6/30/1981 – 7/7/1982: St. Anselm (Swissvale, PA)
  • 7/8/1982 – 7/2/2001: St. Killian (Mars, PA)
  • 7/2/2001 – 6/15/2002: St. Bartholomew (Penn Hills, PA); Sabbatical Second Semester of 2001-2002
  • 1/15/2002 – 7/3/2002: Sabbatical at North American College in Rome
  • 7/3/2002 – 9/1/2010: St. James the Apostle (Bedford, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Rebel:

Father John Rebel was ordained a priest in 1965, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, the Diocese received a report that he molested a boy in the 1970s. The abuse occurred in the boy’s bedroom when he was 10 to 12 years of age and happened after a “home mass.” Diocesan officials met with the parents of the victim who advised that their son (now deceased) told them of the abuse years after it happened.

They stated that Rebel would often drive their son home after CCD (Confraternity of Christian Doctrine) classes. While the victim’s parents did not know for certain what occurred during those rides, it became clear from their son’s level of emotion and sobbing, that sexual abuse may have occurred. Their son begged them to not make him go to CCD classes. The parents reported that after the abuse, their son became withdrawn from his family and friends.

In March 2009, Diocesan officials confronted Rebel with the allegations. Rebel
stated that while he remembered the victim’s parents, he had no recollection of their children nor having a “home mass” at their residence. He denied taking the victim for rides in his car after CCD classes.

In May 2009, the victim’s parents met with Bishop Zubik and recounted their son’s abuse, who advised that he had spoken to Rebel and that he had denied harming their son. Zubik also stated that he felt that Rebel was telling him the truth. In the end, while Zubik believed what their son had alleged, he felt that perhaps the abuse was committed by another priest.

Zubik stated that after reviewing church records, it was in all likelihood that another priest was the parish priest at the time when the abuse occurred. He advised the family that the church would conduct more research. However, based on available records it does not appear that any further investigation was conducted and the matter was dropped.

No action appears to have been taken against Rebel, however, any records of assignments cease after 2010, yet there is no record of Rebel’s retirement or withdrawal from the ministry.

Rebel is deceased and buried at Christ Our Redeemer Catholic Cemetery in Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania.

He was first named publicly as accused in a priest profile in the 2018 Pennsylvania Grand Jury Report.

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.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.