PHILADELPIA (CBS) – A Delaware County, Pa. man who claims he was sexually assault by a priest who was a longtime family friend has filed a lawsuit against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia.
Frank Finnegan, 49, of Collingdale, Pa. (above) alleges he was first overpowered by Father John Kline at a vacation rental home on Long Beach Island, NJ back in 1968 or 1969.
He says the recent release of a second grand jury report on priest sex abuse stirred graphic memories of the incidents to the surface. He says he had surpressed them for years.
Now, Finnegan wants the archdiocese to acknowledge its role in covering up Kline’s past.
“I don’t want somebody who’s seven (years old) today to be me in 40 years. I don’t want somebody to continue to be covered up and sheltered by the Catholic Church,” he told reporters today outside the archdiocese headquarters at 17th and Race Streets.
Finnegan says his older brother, Jack, who is now living in California, also confided he too had been assaulted by the priest, who died in 1996.
Marci Hamilton (right), Finnegan’s lawyer, says the suit alleges fraud, a cover-up, and much more.
“The harm that this archdiocese has inflicted is on not just survivors of the abuse but their entire extended families,” she said.
The archdiocese declined comment.
Today’s lawsuit was just the latest in a flurry of lawsuits filed against the Archdiocese of Philadelphia since the Philadelphia district attorney released the results of a grand jury investigation that found a coverup by the Catholic Church hierarchy in Philadelphia (see related story).
Reported by Mark Abrams, KYW Newsradio 1060.