Fr. Henry Paul – Diocese of Allentown

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2023 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church, Firm News

Father Henry Paul

Diocese of Allentown (Oblates)

Fr. Henry Paul Horowitz Law

Ordained: 1941

Died: 1982

Assignment History:

  • 1941-1943: Northeast Catholic High School for Boys (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1942-1946: The Salesianum School for Boys (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1946: Cathedral Prep (Erie, PA)
  • 1947: Gannon College (Erie, PA)
  • 1947:-1949 Catholic Prep Faculty House (Erie, PA)
  • 1949-1952: Bishop Duffy High School (Niagara Falls, NY)
  • 1953-1955: Archbishop Stepinac High School (White Plains, NY)
  • 1956-1959: The Salesian School (Wilmington, DE)
  • 1959: Blessed Sacrament College (Cornwells Heights, PA)
  • 1960-1961: Salesianum School (Wilmington, PA)
  • 1961: LaSalle College (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1962: Unknown
  • 1963-1964: Father Judge High School for Boys (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1965: Allentown College and Alvernia College (Reading, PA)
  • 1965-1978: Allentown College of St. Francis De Sales (Center Valley, PA)
  • 1970: St. Charles Seminary (Overbrook, PA)
  • 1979: Sacred Heart Church (New Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1979: St. Joachim Parish (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1980-1981: Unknown

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations Against Fr. Henry Paul:

Father Henry Paul was ordained in 1941 as a religious priest from the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales Order. He worked in various positions in the Pennsylvania Dioceses of Diocese of Allentown, Erie, and Philadelphia, in the New York Dioceses of Buffalo and New York City, and at Salesianum School in Wilmington, Delaware. Fr. Paul was one of the 35 “predator priests” named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury report.

In April 1979, an individual wrote a letter to Bishop McShea of the Diocese of Allentown stating that her niece and “a few other little girls” from Sacred Heart Church in New Philadelphia, a town in Schuylkill County, had been “bothered” by Fr. Paul. The individual reported that Paul took the little girls to the rectory and kissed them. One girl allegedly went home and told her mother that she knew how to “French kiss.” When the mother asked how the little girl knew that, the little girl responded that Father Paul showed her.  Her niece’s mother and some of the other mothers wanted to keep the incidents quiet. The individual wrote, “I think to keep it quiet is wrong. If this continues, some innocent people are going to be hurt and it will be too late then.”  The individual described that, during Easter preparation, Fr. Paul would have the children sit on his lap for confession and then give him a “kiss”.

Monsignor Anthony “Tony”  Muntone wrote a handwritten letter to Bishop McShea stating that he confronted Fr. Paul with the accusations. Fr. Paul admitted that he had a deep love for children and that he did kiss younger children but that it was done in an appropriate way. Muntone wrote that he had a very strong feeling that Paul was not telling the truth.  As a result, Muntone dug further and asked an individual named Bob Fagan what he knew about the matter.  Fagan’s role in the Diocese is not known. Fagan spoke to approximately twenty children in the parish about Fr. Paul.  He reported that three or four of the children told Fagan that they kissed Fr. Paul, and while they did not use the term, they described a French kiss. None of the children with whom Fagan spoke was over the age of twelve.

Fagan confronted Fr. Paul about what he had learned, and Paul became “panic-stricken.” Fagan promised not to report Paul since the situation “seemed under control,” but he apparently did speak and report the issue to Fr. Paul’s Oblate Superior, Dennis Murphy. Fagan heard nothing about the matter for almost two months when another parishioner called to report another incident. The parishioner stated that Paul told her daughter to go home and take her underwear off and then return to him at the chapel. It was at this point that Fagan and Muntone recommended to McShea that Fr. Paul be removed from the parish.

In documents received by the Allentown Diocese, it is shown that Fr. Paul was relieved of his responsibilities at Sacred Heart Church in April 1979. According to information released by the Oblates, after leaving Sacred Heart, Paul was assigned to St. Joachim in Philadelphia. He died in 1982.

On August 5, 2011, the Wilmington News Journal reported that the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales had settled some 39 lawsuits filed by the victims of sexual abuse for $24.8 million. As part of the settlement, the Oblates named twelve priests said to have committed the abuse, including Fr. Paul.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Allentown. 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 Allentown may have legal options against the Diocese of Allentown. Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.