Rev. Joseph A. Romansky

Summary of Case: Romansky pleaded guilty in 1985 to "harming a juvenile" after two boys disclosed that he had sexually abused them and others. Five men reported in 2002 that he had abused them as children in 1975. Two priests stated in 2002 that they had reported their concerns to Cleveland diocesan officials in 1975. Romansky was moved from parish to parish in Cleveland, then to a parish in Biloxi MS after the 1985 conviction. He is said to have likely molested dozens of teenage African American boys and girls from 1975-1995. He died in July 2004.

Ordained
: 1975

     

Start Stop Assignment Town/Accusations State Position Notes

1975

Cleveland bishop was James Aloysius Hickey (1974-1980)

  St. Thomas Aquinas

Cleveland

• In 2002 five men accused Romansky in a lawsuit of having sexually abused them when they were children and involved in a youth group run by Romansky at St. Thomas Aquinas.Two priests have stated that they reported Romansky to diocesan officials at the time. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
September 19, 2002)

     

1975

 

1980 St. Catherine Cleveland OH

3/3, 2/3, 3/4

 

Parish had a school with 230-300 students.

1980

Hickey was replaced as bishop by Anthony Michael Pilla (1980-2006)

1982 St. Francis Cleveland OH 4/4 Parish had a school with 262 students.
1980 1982 Commission for Community Action Cleveland OH   Per news reports. (Akron Beacon Journal [Ohio]
April 9, 2002)
1982 1985 Holy Family

Cleveland

• A 13 yr. old boy told his mother in 1985 that Romansky played strip poker with and masturbated in front of him and three other boys. (United Press International
July 12, 1987) He and another boy sued the diocese. The boys also accused Romasky of paying them for oral sex. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
March 10, 2002)

OH 1/1

Parish had a school with 309-315 students.

Romansky was arrested, pleaded guilty, and was put on probation. He was also sent to a psychiatric facility in Maryland for priests. The boy's mother said was given an apartment, furniture and a diocesan office job by the diocese. They offered her more if she would sign an agreement not to sue. When she refused, the diocese fired her from her job, made her move out of the apartment and return the furniture.

1985 1986 Awaiting Assignment Cleveland OH   The 1986 Directory indexes Romansky as Awaiting Assignment and as at Holy Family.
1986 1989 Absent on Leave    

 

 

 

1989

Biloxi bishop was Joseph Lawson Howze (1977-2001)

1992 Our Lady of Fatima Biloxi MS 2/2

Parish had a school with

Romansky's history of sexual abuse of children was kept secret in Biloxi. When it became known in 1992, the bishop sent Romansky back to Cleveland. (Plain Dealer [Cleveland, Ohio]
March 10, 2002)

1992 1994         Romansky is not indexed in the 1993 or 1994 Directories.
1994 2002 St. Augustine Manor Cleveland OH Chaplain This was a skilled nursing , rehabilitation, and assisted living facility.
2002 2004 Administrative Leave       Romansky died July 3, 2004


Source
: Official Catholic Directory (New York: P.J. Kenedy and Sons, 1976-2005)

Priests in a Parish: We use the following convention to show a priest's place among the clergy of a parish: 1/2 means that he is the first priest listed in the Official Catholic Directory (usually the pastor) and that there is a total of two priests at the parish. The shorthand 3/4 means that the priest is listed third on a four-priest roster. See our sample page from the Directory.

Note: The Official Catholic Directory aims to report the whereabouts of Catholic priests in the United States on January 1 of the Directory's publication year. Our working assumption is that a priest listed in the Directory for a given year was at the same assignment for part of the previous year as well. However, Kenedy and Sons will sometimes accept updates well into the year of publication. Diocesan clergy records are rarely available to correct this information. The Directory is also sometimes misleading or wrong. We have tried to create an accurate assignment record, given the source materials and their limitations. Assignment records are a work in progress and we are always improving the records that we post. Please email us with new information and corrections.

This assignment record collates Romansky's career history as it is represented in the Official Catholic Directory with allegations as reported in the media. We make no representation regarding the truth of the allegation we report, and we remind our readers that the U.S. legal system presumes that a person accused of or charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty. Similarly, individuals who may be defendants in civil actions are presumed not to be liable for such claims unless a plaintiff proves otherwise. Admissions of guilt or liability are not typically a part of civil or private settlements. For more information, see our posting policy.

This assignment record was last updated on Nov. 4, 2009

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