Among the cases highlighted in the grand jury report was the alleged sexual abuse committed by the Rev. Michael S. Lawrence, a priest in the Diocese of Allentown. The following timeline is from the report.

1970: While Lawrence is attending St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Wynnewood, a student evaluation mentions he shows "a little too much interest in younger students."

1973: Lawrence is ordained to the priesthood.

August 1982: A priest reports to Msgr. Anthony Muntone about "an unfortunate incident" at St. Catharine of Siena parish in Reading.  A father had complained that Lawrence had fondled the genitals of his 12-year-son to the point of pain and made him urinate. When Muntone asks Lawrence about the incident, the priest says, "Please help me. I sexually molested a young boy."

The day of Lawrence's admission, he is sent to St. John Vianney Center in Downingtown for therapy. A staffer there tells Muntone that the family of the victim should be given time to "ventilate" and that the victim's experience "will not necessarily be a horrendous trauma for the boy."

Part of a handwritten report from Msgr. Muntone, dated Aug. 18, 1982.
Pa. grand jury report
Part of a handwritten report from Msgr. Muntone, dated Aug. 18, 1982.

March 1984: Lawrence is assigned to teach religion classes at Notre Dame High School in Easton.

Oct. 20, 1987: After the victim's father complains about Lawrence's still being an active priest, Bishop Thomas Welsh informs the priest that he is being removed from parish ministry immediately on the advice of legal counsel and placed on "sick leave."

Nov. 6, 1987: Lawrence writes to Welsh about the possibility of legal action and his removal from ministry: "The deep sense of frustration and anger have led me to act-out sexually in the past and if my present situation continues it becomes a possibility again." Lawrence becomes a priest on the diocesan tribunal, part of the Catholic judicial system.

February 2002: One month after the Boston Globe's report on child sexual abuse in the Archdiocese of Boston, Lawrence writes to Bishop Edward Cullen requesting to retire, "in light of recent events and at the suggestion of Msgr. Alfred Schlert."

Detail of Lawrence’s 2002 retirement letter to Bishop Edward Cullen, citing “recent events.” The Boston Globe published its investigation of child sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese one month earlier.
Pa. grand jury report
Detail of Lawrence’s 2002 retirement letter to Bishop Edward Cullen, citing “recent events.” The Boston Globe published its investigation of child sexual abuse in the Boston Archdiocese one month earlier.

November 2009: The diocese receives another report of sexual abuse, this time from a victim who says Lawrence fondled his genitals when he was approximately 13 years old. When the diocese confronts Lawrence about the new complaint, he says that he had believed the boy was 16 or older, and that any contact was accidental.

Dec. 16, 2014: Bishop John O. Barres writes to the Vatican, saying he has decided not to remove Lawrence from the priesthood and recommends that he remain in retired status.

Detail of a 2014 letter from Bishop John O. Barres to the Vatican, recommending that the Rev. Michael S. Lawrence remain retired and not be removed from the priesthood.
Pa. grand jury report
Detail of a 2014 letter from Bishop John O. Barres to the Vatican, recommending that the Rev. Michael S. Lawrence remain retired and not be removed from the priesthood.

April 2015: Lawrence dies.

Response from Msgr. Muntone’s attorney

The grand jury report includes a response from Muntone, who says he did not enable priests to engage in child sexual abuse and did not violate a duty to safeguard the welfare of children. It also states that Muntone was not in a position of authority to appoint priests in the diocese, and that any action he may have taken in the time frame alleged in the report was a result of meetings and telephone contact with legal counsel for the Diocese of Allentown.