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Pittsburgh diocese sued after alleged abuse victim commits suicide

July 30, 2010

Two months after a man who alleged abuse by a Pittsburgh priest committed suicide at a psychiatric facility in Massachusetts, the man’s family has filed suit against the Diocese of Pittsburgh.

In 2008, Michael Unglo, then 37, was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder and said he experienced flashbacks of abuse by Father Richard Dorsch between 1982 and 1985. The diocese subsequently contributed more than $300,000 towards Mr. Unglo’s treatment but reportedly ended the funding earlier this year. In 1995, Father Dorsch had been convicted of two counts of indecent assault and one count of corruption of minors following his abuse of a 13-year-old boy. At the time of the sentencing, the judge announced he would parole Dorsch within three weeks so that he could attend the St. Luke Institute. Father Dorsch has been permanently removed from ministry.

Mr. Unglo “paid the ultimate price for being sexually abused as a child by a priest,” said his family’s attorney.

“In essence, they put him on life support,” he added. “They funded treatment for him. But, unfortunately, they made a decision this year to pull the plug on his treatment and abandon him.”

“Without any legal requirement to do so, the Diocese of Pittsburgh readily provided hundreds of thousands of dollars for counseling and residential treatment for Mr. Unglo in recent years and continued to do so up to the time of his tragic death,” according to a diocesan statement. “The Diocese of Pittsburgh denies any negligence in this matter and cannot accept that any action of the Diocese contributed to or was responsible for his death. The facts of the case will bear this out.”


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