Fr. Leon Muroski – Diocese of Erie

| Jan 7, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father Leon Muroski

Diocese of Erie

Leon Muroski Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1960

Psychological treatment: 1994

Retired: 2002

Died:  June 10, 2023

Assigned as follows:

  • 6/11/1960 -9/01/1967:  St. Luke (Erie, PA)
  • 3/30/1961: Erie County T.B. Hospital
  • 9/01/1960 -6/16/1967: St. Mark’s (Erie, PA)
  • 6/16/1967 -10/12/1982: St. Mark’s Seminary, Vocational Director (Erie, PA)
  • 10/12/1982- 9/01/1995: Our Lady of the Lake, Pastor (Edinboro, PA)
  • 5/1994: St. Luke’s Institute
  • 9/01/1995 -6/01/1997: Retired, St. Casimirs (Rectory (Erie, PA)
  • 6/01/1997 -4/01/2001: The Christophers (New York, NY)
  • 5/03/2001: Resident, St. Patrick’s (Erie, PA)
  • 9/01/2001 – 3/11/2002:  Pleasant Ridge Manor West (Girard, PA)
  • 1/2320/03 – N/A: St. Patrick’s (Unassigned)
  • 12/10/2015 – Present: Diocese Retirement Home (Erie, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Leon Muroski:

Fr. Leon Muroski was ordained a priest in 1960, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Erie. Most of his ministry was spent serving in Special Ministry as an Administrator for the Diocese and working with young people aspiring to become priests at St. Mark’s Seminary.

According to media reports, in 2018, his name was included on the Diocese of Erie April 2018 list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse. He was also named publicly as accused in the 2018 PA Grand Jury report.

After 20 years of administrative duties, Muroski finally got his own parish. This ministry lasted from 1982 until 1995 but was abruptly halted when Muroski was accused of sexual misconduct while he was a Spiritual Director at the St. Mark’s Seminary.

According to the grand jury report, Muroski was sent to St. Luke’s Institute in Suitland, Maryland, for individual psychotherapy in 1994, after he admitted to inappropriate contact with the seminarians under his watch. These seminarians were all male, eighteen to twenty-three years old when Muroski would counsel them. This counselling included allegations of full body massages, kissing, masturbation and fondling of the seminarians’ buttocks and genitals.

Muroski would eventually be placed back into ministry after therapy at St. Luke’s and served in the Diocese of Erie and in The Christophers program in New York City.

While many of those exploited by Muroski were adults, at least three were minor children. At this time Muroski and his fellow priest, Salvatore Luzzi (who also faced sexual misconduct allegations and was sent to SLI with Muroski), were assigned as Spiritual Directors to these seminarians.

Covering Up for Fellow Priests

In 1974-1975, Muroski was working at Camp Notre Dame in Fairview, Pennsylvania, when a young seminarian named Michael Amy was accused of fondling two juveniles. These victims reported the incident to the Pennsylvania State Police, the Diocese of Erie Administration, and to their parents.

The Diocese representative for this incident and Camp Notre Dame, Father Lawrence Speice, assisted Amy by interceding on Amy’s behalf with the State Police and the boy’s parents. No arrest was made and the Diocese does not have a file on the victims.

Muroski dealt with Amy by directing him to go to counseling and keeping him in seminary. Amy would go on to abuse at least two more juveniles as an ordained priest, along with several other undocumented juvenile prostitutes before being laicized.

During Amy’s laicization process, he would call Muroski as a witness and Muroski denied knowledge of any wrongdoings by Amy.

The sexual abuse of seminarians by Muroski and Luzzi cost the Diocese of Erie over $89,500.00 in civil payments to three former college seminarians were overseen by Muroski and Luzzi while they studied at St. Mark’s. Another former seminarian had several thousand dollars of counseling paid for by the Diocese over the course of many years.

Soon after Muroski finished his therapy at St. Luke’s, Bishop Trautman welcomed him back to the pastoral ministry on February 22, 1995. This ministry came with several restrictions.

Trautman restricted Muroski from contact with youth under the age of 19. In particular, Trautman specified restrictions on counseling, traveling, marriage preparation, recreation, and socialization. This was ordered by penal precept dated the same date as Muroski’ s welcome back letter.

Little was found on Muroski’ s whereabouts or duties within the Diocese in 1995-1996, but in 1997, it was found that Muroski was serving in ministry for The Christophers in New York City. Once again, little is documented about his duties with The Christophers and it is unknown if The Christophers were notified of his past sexual involvement with young people in Erie.

In 2001, Muroski returned to the Diocese of Erie from The Christophers and was retired.

Muroski was permitted to move into the retired priest home in 2002.  Muroski died in June 2023.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Erie. 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 Erie may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so please do not delay in reaching out to us.

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