On Monday, November 14, 2011, Diocesan officials received an allegation of sexual misconduct involving a minor against the Reverend Thomas P. Shoback. The allegation is reported to have occurred when the accuser, now an adult, was a minor. In response to the allegation, the Diocese of Scranton immediately notified the Tioga County District Attorney’s Office, the county where the abuse is reported to have taken place; reported the incident through ChildLine; removed the accused cleric from ministry and suspended his faculties to exercise priestly ministries within the Diocese pending an investigation of the accusation. The Diocese of Scranton will cooperate fully with all civil authorities in their investigation of this matter.
Ordained in 1977, the accused cleric has served as pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary, Jermyn since 2006. His prior appointments included serving as pastor at St. Joseph, Hudson and Sacred Heart, Plains; Holy Redeemer, Falls-Harding; Our Lady of Lourdes, Montoursville; St. Mary and St. Andrew, Blossburg; as an assistant pastor at St. Joseph’s, Hazleton; Nativity BVM, Plymouth; and St. Matthew’s, East Stroudsburg; and he served on the faculty at the former Bishop Hoban High School, Wilkes-Barre.
The Diocese of Scranton encourages anyone who has been sexually abused by the clergy or anyone else, to immediately notify local law enforcement authorities; and to contact Joan Holmes, Victim’s Assistance Coordinator, at (570) 344-5216; or Diocesan officials, including Reverend Thomas M. Muldowney, Episcopal Vicar for Clergy, or Teresa Osborne, Chancellor, at (570) 207-2216.
The Diocese of Scranton is committed to protecting children and to providing support to victims of sexual abuse. In expressing his personal sorrow for the pain suffered by survivors of abuse, The Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, Bishop of Scranton, requests the faithful of the Diocese to join him in praying for the healing of all those affected while working together to safeguard our children.