Our goal is to raise funds for Father James DeOreo to clear his reputation from the groundless defamation of his character that is preventing him from potentially working ever again as a Catholic Priest. A misguided family has been led to believe that their son fell victim to an eating disorder due to a popular spiritual fasting program suggested by Father DeOreo. Seeking restitution of some form, the family approached the Diocese of Lafayette in Indiana claiming that undue pressure from Father DeOreo led to the eating disorder asking for $383,000. The Diocese saw no merit in the claim and took no action.
Later, after seeing a therapist for the eating disorder, and after being declined entry into a Catholic seminary, the young man “concluded” that while in high school, he was being groomed by Father DeOreo toward a sexual encounter. Based upon this “conclusion,” the family approached the Diocese a second time with the even more severe claim. The Diocese, perhaps out of an over sensitivity to this type of claim, immediately removed Father DeOreo from any ministerial duties. He was also banned from living anywhere within Diocese property or near anywhere he served, and had to find and pay for his own lodging.
Father DeOreo adamantly denies any such behavior and states that the allegation is baseless. The evidence cited by the family of the young man is so ambiguous as to border upon ridiculous. These reckless accusations have been widely published in the state via multiple outlets. If the Diocese decides to "settle out of court”—a situation in which he has no say, the harm to Father DeOreo would be irreparable. Without a chance to properly clear his name, Father DeOreo remains out of work in his chosen vocation. The life-long impacts of such terrible accusations are difficult to estimate.
Although Father DeOreo prays daily for the healing of this young man and his family, he must have his day in court to clear his name. Since expensive cases of this nature tend to drag out over a period of years, we hope to raise $300,000 to help cover current and future legal related expenses.
You can read the Complaint for Decalaratory Judgement that Father DeOreo has filed asking the court to dismiss the case and explaining the details.
this case has even greater consequences than those experienced by Father
DeOreo. The ability to simply claim an injury cannot be sufficient to cause the
type of harm he endures.Proof of wrongdoing or fault must be provided,
otherwise any spiritual or other leader can be permanently and irrevocably
harmed by false or mistaken claims. We risk becoming a society that considers
one guilty until proven innocent, which is a travesty of justice and puts everyone
at great risk.