Catholic Priest

Paul G. Puza

Ordained: 1975
Diocese: Diocese of Allentown

From the Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

On September 9, 1991, a former seminarian from the Diocese met with Bishop Welsh and advised that he was molested three times, involving oral sex by Father Paul Puza when the seminarian was in the eighth grade. On September 13, 1991, a Chancery official met with Puza, who admitted to one sexual encounter, not three.  Puza also maintained his victim was a senior in high school, not in eighth grade.

On September 19, 1991, a Chancery official spoke with Puza’s therapist, who stated that Puza admitted to “quite a bit of male and female involvement, but insisted that the seminarian was the only minor.”

On February 12, 1995, an 18-year-old high school student reported sexual contact by Puza to Welsh.  On February 4, 2002, Puza admitted to sexual misconduct with a minor.  On February 7, 2002, Puza resigned as Pastor of St. Richard of Chichester.  On February 8, 2002, Puza’s resignation was accepted by Bishop Cullen effective immediately.  Cullen also asked Puza to meet with the Secretary for Clergy to discuss  his needs.  The Diocese and Cullen made sure the needs of Puza were met until his dismissal from the priesthood in 2010.

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.