Father Richard Lynch
Diocese of Erie
Assigned as follows:
- 1963 – 1983: Bradford Central Christian High School (Bradford, PA)
- 1983 – 1999: Holy Rosary (Erie, PA)
- 1984 – 1994: Dean, East Erie Deanery (Erie, PA)
- 1999 – 2000: St. Mark’s The Evangelist (Erie, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Richard Lynch:
Fr. Richard Lynch was ordained a priest in 1963, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Erie. According to media reports, in a 2004 memorandum from the office of Bishop Donald Trautman, the Diocese of Erie reported that an individual attempted to contact the Chancery regarding matters of “sexual involvement years ago.” The alleged victim claimed that in 1978, while a senior at Bradford Central Christian High School, the headmaster, Father Richard D. Lynch, sexually abused him.
According to the victim, while the student cleaned the school locked room, Lynch sexually accosted the victim and forced him into a wall resulting in the victim needing back surgery as an adult. In 2004, the victim contacted the Diocese twice within a month after being told a representative would be in contact. No contact was ever made by the Diocese of Erie. However, the victim did not give up and eventually Bishop Trautman agreed to meet with him. He continued to be in contact with the Chancery for more than a decade about various matters, and each time he referenced his sexual abuse.
In 2016, the victim renewed prior requests for financial assistance from the Diocese of Erie. Persico wrote back to him and claimed that that this was the first the man had ever mentioned of being sexually abused, even though that was blatantly false according to its own files. Persico told the man that the Diocese of Erie had received no other allegations about Lynch. According to the letter, Erie has a policy not to make monetary settlements, adding that they would only consider paying for counseling and therapy. The man accepted the offer of counseling and asked that, in lieu of a monetary settlement, the Diocese of Erie donate to the fund to repair St. Bernard’s parish on his behalf.
Lynch was named publicly as accused in the 2018 PA Grand Jury report, which noted the Diocese of Erie has not documented any other allegations about Lynch.
Lynch died in 2000 as a priest in good standing.
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.