An ex-priest who preached at St. Michael the Archangel in Tullytown has been arrested for sexually abusing two minors. Bucks District Attorney Matt Weintraub made the announcement at a press conference Tuesday, followed by an accuser coming forward to share his story of abuse.
Francis Trauger, 74, remained at the church for ten years until 2003. Recently, two alleged victims contacted authorities about their interactions with the former Father.
“Trauger was named in connection with other victims in the Philadelphia Grand Jury Report in 2005,” Weintraub said. “The Grand Jury Report does indicate that the Church knew of the allegations against Trauger and reassigned him.”
The 2005 Philadelphia Grand Jury report is available in its entirety here. Allegations against Trauger date back to 1981. Information relevant to Trauger begins on page 303, and its contents are disturbing.
“It is my position, to be proven in a court of law of course, that he abused his position of power in the name of God, and the Catholic Church, to abuse these young men,” Weintraub said. The DA continued, and became emotional as he said he had family members who were altar boys. “It is supposed to be the proudest, most glorious day of your life.”
Additionally, Weintraub “is concerned that there may be additional victims.” Anyone can contact Bucks County Detective Lt. David Kemmerer at 215-949-6354. Victims also have the choice of contacting Tullytown Police Sgt. Phil Kuhn at 215-945-0999 ext. 225.
“I can only imagine the shame and the horror that they felt then, but those days are in the past. They’re over. Trauger will pay for what he did to them. Let us help you if you’ve also been a victim. Come forward, and we will.”
“As for ex-Father Trauger, he will be judged in a court of law,” Weintraub concluded. “How else he’s judged after that, I cannot say.”
Accuser Comes Forward
After the press conference, a man who had been sitting quietly spoke to the media. He identified himself as additional accuser, saying former Father Francis Trauger abused him in 1981.
“I am filled with tears of joy and tears of sorrow,” McDonnell began. “First and foremost, my heart goes out to these victims.
Michael McDonnell is a grown man now, but was just an alter boy when Trauger resided at St. Titus Parish in East Norriton Township, PA.
“He transferred eight times in his career, six times to other large parishes after I was abused in 1981. Six more times.”
McDonnell called this case a “clear cut example” of why the statute of limitations needs to be changed in Pennsylvania. He clarified he was not one of the two victims included in the affidavit. Then, McDonnell gave a message to his alleged abuser.
“You robbed a lot of life out of a good kid. I was a good kid. And I’m going to watch you be brought to justice now.”