Father Michael Romero
Diocese of Pittsburgh
Assigned as follows:
- 10/13/1977-2/23/1978: North American Martyrs (Monroeville, PA)
- 2/24/1978-7/07/1982: Immaculate Conception (Washington, PA)
- 7/08/1982-6/02/1985: St. Veronica (Ambridge, PA)
- 6/03/1985-3/15/1990: St. Basil (Carrick, PA)
- 3/15/1990-6/17/2000: Leave of Absence
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Michael Romero:
Father Michael Romero was ordained a priest in 1977, who served in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. According to media reports, in January 2012, a man alleged that Father Romero sexually abused him when he was a parishioner of Immaculate Conception in Washington PA, where the priest was assigned from 1978 to 1982. A memorandum indicated that the Diocese of Pittsburgh received a telephone call from a woman that advised her boyfriend was sexually abused by Romero when Romero was assigned to Immaculate Conception.
The woman advised that her boyfriend’s mother had previously contacted the Diocese of Pittsburgh to report the abuse and to obtain referral information to help her son. The mother had provided some information about her son and asked if the Diocese would be able to help him. It was represented that the Diocese of Pittsburgh provided the mother with some referral information for the area in which her son lived. There was no report about the allegation made at that time.
The woman subsequently contacted her boyfriend’s mother and asked her to re-contact the Diocese. The mother called again and advised that her son was sexually abused by a priest and that she believed that the priest was Romero.
She stated that the abuse occurred at Immaculate Conception when her son was a student there. She stated that Romero bought her son all kinds of gifts, including a ski jacket. On one occasion many years later, her son came home for a visit and knocked a picture of himself off the wall and broke it. It was a picture of her son wearing the ski jacket.
She also reported that Romero once took her son on a trip to Cleveland and gave him alcohol. Her son got so drunk that he could not remember anything afterward. She stated that her son was now a heavy drinker and she believed that it stemmed back to the sexual abuse and his early exposure to alcohol by the priest.
In a memorandum from October 2013, the son advised that he wanted to report “questionable behavior” that occurred when he was a child.
He stated that he was an altar server at Immaculate Conception in grade school through freshman year of high school. He stated that Romero would encourage him to drink wine after mass before he returned to class. He also recalled that, on occasion, Romero also took him to the racetrack and bought him alcohol there. He recalled Romero buying him gifts, specifically, a sweat suit that Romero asked him to change into.
The male reported that other “things” happened but that he was reluctant to talk about anything else. He stated that Father John Bauer also provided him with alcohol and encouraged him to drink it. He stated that Bauer would also engage him in “wrestling” matches.
He recalled that Romero and Bauer would talk about masturbation a lot in front of him and the other young boys. The male stated that he has spent his life dealing with issues of alcohol abuse and addiction. He attributed it to his early exposure to alcohol by Romero and Bauer.
A letter in the file revealed that the Diocese forwarded the victim’s information to the Washington County District Attorney’s office on August 5, 2014.
The file also contained a January 2012 memorandum from another priest that included information about the second allegation of abuse against Romero. The priest called to report that he had received a telephone call from a male victim who alleged that he was sexually abused by Romero while he was a parishioner at Immaculate Conception.
Romero died in 2000. 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.