George A. Wilt
Diocese: Diocese of Pittsburgh
From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:
In a memorandum dated November 17, 2000, and authored by Rita Flaherty of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, it was recorded that a woman had reported that Father George A. Wilt made unwanted advances and embraced and kissed her on her mouth. She reported that Wilt embraced her two more times and again tried to kiss her on her mouth, but that she was able to turn her head. Wilt also made what she felt were inappropriate comments to her.
In another memorandum dated April 11, 2003, and authored by Flaherty, it was noted that the Director of the Religious Education Department at St. Bernard expressed several concerns about Wilt’s behavior. She stated that Wilt failed to take immediate action when it was discovered that the janitor was viewing pornography on a school computer. Furthermore, he dismissed several incidents where the same janitor walked in on women and girls while they were using the bathroom. Wilt was also alleged to have engaged in inappropriate physical contact with adult women and teenage girls. It was further reported that people had left the parish because of inappropriate touching and kissing on the mouth, often during first communions. Also mentioned in this memorandum were two other allegations of inappropriate conduct by Wilt that were made by adult women. One incident occurred in November 2002 in Wilt’s office with an intern. The other incident occurred several months prior to April 2003 and stemmed from a confession in the church sanctuary.
In another Diocesan memorandum dated April 24, 2003, it was noted that Wilt denied kissing eighth grade girls on the lips and inappropriately touching adult women. Flaherty also wrote in the memorandum that Wilt was informed of the situation with the janitor. While Wilt agreed that the behavior was inappropriate, he asked officials several times if the janitor could be re-hired.
In a memorandum dated May 2, 2003, Flaherty noted that two women, a youth minister and CCD secretary, met with Diocesan officials. Both women stated they had seen Wilt inappropriately touch women during various celebrations and kiss eighth grade girls.
In a memorandum dated December 10, 2003, Flaherty wrote that adult women had accused Wilt of inappropriate advances. It was the recommendation of the Diocesan Review Board, however, that Wilt retain his faculties as they found him suitable for ministry.
On March 8, 2004, a victim reported she had been sexually abused by Wilt sometime between 1961 and 1963. She stated the abuse occurred when she was in the seventh or eighth grade at St. Bernard. The victim explained that she had sought counseling from Wilt because she was being sexually abused by her father at the time. She thought Wilt could make it stop. Wilt invited her into a small room in the parish house and during their conversation, he fondled her. On another occasion she was called out of class and asked to go to the rectory. The victim stated that Wilt began to fondle her again and she ran out of the room and hid for the rest of the day until school was out. She never met with Wilt again.
Wilt was not assigned to St. Bernard until 1968. Wilt said that he was only at the parish once prior to his assignment there, when he paid his respects of the passing of the pastor (Monsignor Quigley). He said he was there for about 15 minutes.
Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation. A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.