Monsignor Joseph G. Gotwalt
Diocese of Harrisburg
Assigned as Follows:
- St. Ignatius Catholic Church (Buchanan Valley, PA)
- St. Vincent’s (Hanover, PA)
- St. Patrick’s (Trevorton, PA)
- Diocesan director of the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
- Presentation Blessed Virgin Mary Church (Marietta, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Monsignor Joseph G. Gotwalt:
In February 2020, the Diocese of Harrisburg filed for bankruptcy protection. As part of its bankruptcy, the Diocese of Harrisburg will be reviewing and paying claims for anyone sexually abused by diocesan priests and lay employees. This will likely include claims filed on behalf of anyone whose case may be beyond the statute of limitations. Ahead of the grand jury report, the Diocese of Harrisburg released the names of 71 priests, seminarians and laypersons accused of sexually abusing children since 1941. After the report was released, the total was over 301 identified and accused priests in Pennsylvania alone.
One name that was made public for the first time from the proceedings was Monsignor Joseph G. Gotwalt. The list that the Diocese of Harrisburg provided does not include any information about the number of victims who have come forward, the nature of the misconduct, or the timeframe that the alleged abuse occurred. The only information found about Joseph Gotwalt has been released from the bankruptcy proceedings.
His case falls under the category of clergy for whom criminal or canonical proceedings were not undertaken or completed. This category contained the names of deceased clergy who served in the diocese and have been officially accused, but no proceedings have been undertaken (usually due to their death). In most of these cases, the cleric died before the conclusion of the proceedings, or before the allegations were received. According to his obituary, Joseph Gotwalt died in April of 1988. There has been no formal determination of guilt or innocence.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania. The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg 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 Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.