Father William Lorenz
Diocese of Syracuse
Assigned as follows:
- St. James (Syracuse, NY)
- St. Andrew the Apostle (Syracuse, NY)
- St. Peter (Utica, NY)
- St. Bernard Church (Waterville, NY)
- St. Mary (Oswego, NY)
- St. Paul (Oswego, NY)
- St. Mary Church (Hamilton, NY)
- Oswego Catholic High School, St. Anne (Whitesboro, NY)
- Notre Dame High School (Utica, NY)
- Our Lady of Lourdes (Utica, NY)
- St. Joseph Church (Oneida, NY)
- St. Patrick Church (Forestport, NY)
Summary of Abuse Allegations Against Father William Lorenz:
According to media reports, in June 2002, Father William Lorenz was asked to resign from St. Joseph’s Church in Oneida after the Catholic church adopted a new zero-tolerance policy to prevent child sexual abuse. He was among 32 priests in the Diocese of Syracuse who was removed as part of the Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People that was established that month.
Father Lorenz admitted to luring a 16-year-old female student into sex when she was a student at Oswego Catholic High School in the 1970s. He was a guidance counselor at the time. When the alleged victim first reported the sexual relationship with Father Lorenz in 1993, the Diocese of Syracuse paid her a settlement of over $17,000 for counseling and sent him for psychological treatment at St. Luke’s Institute, a psychiatric hospital in Maryland. He was then cleared and returned to ministry in 1995.
The woman later sued in September 2002. She said that in 1972 she went to Father Lorenz in his capacity as a guidance counselor to talk about abuse by a foster parent.
She said the first sexual contact occurred when “he gave me a ride home from school and we went down to the lake. He gave me beer, and I was drunk.”
She said during the relationship, which lasted through the late 1970s, she met Father Lorenz nearly every week. They continued to have sexual relations in his car and in a church rectory until the late 1970s, the suit claims.
“I guess I was too vulnerable and stupid to not see him anymore,” she said.
“She was married five times,” said her lawyer. “She can’t maintain relationships. She can’t trust. She’s suffered throughout her life because of this abuse.”
In June 2002, the Diocese of Syracuse permanently removed Father Lorenz from ministry.
Father Lorenz’s name appeared publicly on the Diocese of Syracuse’s list of clergy credibly accused of sexual abuse of minors, published in December 2018.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Syracuse in New York. The Diocese of Syracuse filed for federal bankruptcy protection in June 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Syracuse may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply. Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Syracuse will never be able to take any legal action if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in New York and nationwide. We can help.