Another suit claims abuse by Philadelphia priest

The Philadelphia Archdiocese is facing fresh abuse allegations. In front of the Philadelphia Archdiocese offices, lawyers Wednesday talked about a new lawsuit seeking more than $50,000 on behalf of a Delaware County man. It’s the third such suit since a grand jury report alleging the sexual abuse of children was released last month.

Frank Finnegan said he was abused by the Rev. John Kline, who was assigned to St. Francis Xavier Parish in Philadelphia and taught at Roman Catholic High School.

“I stand here because I don’t want someone who’s 7 today to be me in 40 years,” Finnegan said.

Finnegan’s mother worked as the church secretary for decades, and Finnegan said the now deceased Father Kline visited the family’s house and went on vacations with the family in New Jersey.

“This man was considered family. And he betrayed us on a level that’s just hard to imagine,” Finnegan said. “I don’t want somebody to continue to be covered up and sheltered by the Catholic Church, to offend a kid that’s little and take his innocence away, and take his faith away, and rock his family’s faith in God–not so much in God–but in a religion, like they’ve done to us. It has to stop.”

The lawsuit alleges that officials conspired to endanger Finnegan’s safety when they actively concealed their knowledge of Kline’s previous offenses, lied to parishioners, and created a sham sexual abuse victim assistance program for the archdiocese.

Attorney Dan Monahan said it’s difficult for him to hear about the things done by priests to children.

“It almost makes me ashamed to have been a Catholic,” Monahan said. “But when I see the courage and commitment of people like Frank Finnegan here, and other survivors … I’m encouraged because these are truth seekers that are going to reveal the deceit, the deception, and the duplicity of the archdiocese.”

The archdiocese declined to comment on the suit.

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