Following the release of the Grand Jury report, Bishop Bambera has instructed the Diocese’s Independent Review Board to conduct a formal assessment of Bishop Emeritus James Timlin’s handling of previous allegations of abuse during his time as the head of the Diocese of Scranton and to make recommendations as to his role in the Diocese moving forward. This review process has already begun and the recommendations are expected no later than August 31, 2018. Simultaneously, Bishop Bambera has referred the matter to the Holy See, which has authority over Bishop Timlin’s canonical status.

This is consistent with how the Diocese handles all similar allegations.  As in all cases, while these matters are under review, Bishop Timlin is not authorized to represent the Diocese of Scranton in any public events, liturgical or otherwise.

The Grand Jury today released findings following its investigation into child sexual abuse within the Catholic Church in Pennsylvania. As the community copes with the findings in this report, Bishop Bambera offers his deepest apologies to the victims who have suffered because of past actions and decisions made by trusted clergymen, to victims’ families, to the faithful of the Church, and to the community at large. No one deserves to be confronted with the behaviors described in the report. Although painful to acknowledge, it is necessary to address such abuse in order to foster a time when no child is abused and no abuser is protected.

The Diocese of Scranton cooperated fully with the Grand Jury because of its firm belief that child sexual abuse cannot be tolerated and must be eradicated from the Church. Now that the report has been made public, Bishop Bambera has released today the list of all of the accused clergy, staff and volunteers within the Diocese of Scranton. The Diocese shared the list of abusers with all 11 district attorneys within the Diocese in 2016 before it knew of the investigation, and then with the Grand Jury as part of the investigation. This is the complete list of names supplied to the Attorney General. It is posted on the Diocese of Scranton website: www.dioceseofscranton.org (Child Protection/Safe Environment Page).

For well over a decade, ongoing improvements have been made to the manner in which abuse allegations are addressed. The Diocese of Scranton adheres to a strict zero tolerance policy, immediately informing law enforcement and removing the accused from the community when allegations are brought forth. And while properly handling allegations is critical, the ultimate goal of such efforts is to stop abuse altogether. While the past cannot be changed, the Diocese of Scranton remains dedicated to keeping our children safe from abuse moving forward.

In response to the report, Bishop Bambera recorded a video message that has been provided to all parishes to be shown at all Masses in the Diocese this weekend. The video can also be viewed on the Diocesan website, and it has been posted to Bishop Bambera’s Twitter page and the Diocesan Facebook and Twitter pages.

Bishop Bambera’s Message:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/8yjlz7xx9yqs6ze/Bishop%20Bambera%20Statement.mpg?dl=0

Bishop Bambera’s Message with Spanish subtitles:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/hx6324d4joyc0pg/Video%20Bishop%20Bambera%20Original%20Subt.%20%C3%B1.mp4?dl=0

His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, announces the following appointments, effective as indicated:

ADMINISTRATOR

Reverend Peter Tran, from Senior Priest, Christ the King Parish, Archbald, to Admin-istrator, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Wyalusing, effective August 20, 2018.

ASSISTANT PASTOR

Reverend Dominic Obour, from Priest in Residence, Our Lady of Perpetual Help Par-ish, Wyalusing, to Assistant Pastor, Christ the King Parish, Archbald, effective August 20, 2018. 

LEAVE OF ABSENCE

Reverend Marek Wasilewski, from Assistant Pastor, Saint John the Evangelist Parish, Honesdale, to Leave of Absence, effective, July 25, 2018.

RETIREMENT FOR REASONS OF HEALTH

Reverend John J. Kulavich, from Chaplain, Mercy Center, Dallas, to retirement for reasons of health, effective July 31, 2018.

August 19 – 2019 World Youth Day Meeting, 3:00 p.m.

August 21 – Diocesan Catholic Schools Principals Meeting, 9:00 a.m. 

August 26 – Mass – Church of Saint Gregory Expansion Project Groundbreaking, 10:00 a.m. 

August 30 – Mass – Feast of Saint Jeanne Jugan, Holy Family Residence Chapel, Scranton, 11:00 a.m.

 

The Diocese of Scranton has disclosed the names of all credibly accused individuals to authorities, the public and the press since 2010. More than listing the accused individuals, the Grand Jury report will include a detailed overview of the cases involving clergy who served in any of the six dioceses, including the Diocese of Scranton. Upon public release of the Grand Jury report, Bishop Bambera will release the full list of credibly accused individuals that was provided to the Attorney General’s office for their investigation and the District Attorneys for the 11 counties in which the Diocese of Scranton operates.

His Excellency, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera, announces the following appointment, effective as indicated: 

DEAN

Reverend Gerard M. McGlone has been appointed Dean of the Carbondale Deanery, effective June 25, 2018.

July 24-26 – CADEIO-SEIA Summer Institute, Washington, D.C.

July 26 – Closing Mass, Saint Ann’s Novena, Saint Ann’s Basilica, Scranton, 7:30 p.m.

August 4 – Catholic Charismatic Renewal Mass, University of Scranton, 3:15 p.m.

August 5 – Mass – Saint Augustine Church, Diocese of Scranton 150th Anniversary, (Oldest Church in the Diocese of Scranton), Silver Lake, 10:30 a.m.

August 8 – Seminarian Summer Gathering Mass, Jesuit Retreat Center, Chapman Lake, 5:00 p.m.

 

SAN JUAN, Texas (CNS) – In less than 48 hours, a group of Catholic bishops saw the faces of triumph and relief from migrants who had been recently released by immigration authorities, but ended their two-day journey to the border with a more “somber” experience, visiting detained migrant children living temporarily within the walls of a converted Walmart.

During a news conference after the second and last day of their visit July 2, they stressed the “urgent” need to do something to help the migrant children.

Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, center, tells reporters about the detention center for immigrants he and his brother bishops visited earlier in the day in Brownsville, Texas, during a July 2 news conference at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle in San Juan, Texas. The rest of the delegation, pictured from left, are Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, who is USCCB vice president, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pa., and Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Rockville Centre, N.Y. (CNS photo/Chaz Muth)

“The children who are separated from their parents need to be reunited. That’s already begun and it’s certainly not finished and there may be complications, but it must be done and it’s urgent,” said Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo of Galveston-Houston, president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Archbishop Jose H. Gomez of Los Angeles, USCCB vice president, celebrated Mass in Spanish with about 250 children at the facility on what once was the loading dock of the superstore.

“It was, as you can imagine, very challenging to see the children by themselves,” Archbishop Gomez said during the news conference. “Obviously, when there are children at Mass, they are with their parents and families … but it was special to be with them and give them some hope.”

He said he spoke to them about the importance of helping one another.

The visit to the facility known as Casa Padre capped their brief journey to the border communities of McAllen-Brownsville near the southern border. Casa Padre gained notoriety earlier this year because it houses children separated from their families, as well as unaccompanied minors in a setting with murals and quotes of U.S. presidents, including one of President Donald Trump saying, “Sometimes by losing a battle you find a new way to win the war.”

The facility is run by Southwest Key Programs, a nonprofit that operates it under a federal contract. Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pennsylvania, along with Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Rockville Centre, New York, also were part of the delegation July 1 and 2, led by Cardinal DiNardo.

The building houses about 1,200 boys ages 10-17, said Bishop Bambera, and though the care they receive seems to be appropriate – it’s clean, they have access to medical care, and schooling and recreational facilities – it was clear that “there was a sadness” manifested by the boys, he said in a July 2 interview with Catholic News Service.

Bishop Joseph C. Bambera of Scranton, Pa., left, and Auxiliary Bishop Robert J. Brennan of Rockville Centre, N.Y., talk to a member of the media following a July 2 news conference at the Basilica of Our Lady of San Juan del Valle in San Juan, Texas. During the news conference, the bishops told reporters about the detention center for immigrants they visited earlier in the day in Brownsville, Texas. (CNS photo/Chaz Muth)

“We can provide the material environment to care for a person and it’s provided there, but that doesn’t nurture life. That takes the human interaction with the family or a caregiver,” he said.

Though many of the boys held there are considered “unaccompanied minors,” some were separated from a family member they were traveling with, said Bishop Bambera. And when you see them, “those boys bear clearly the burden of that” separation, he said.

Bishop Bambera said the boys listened intently during Mass and seemed to have a particular devotion and piety, one not seen in children that age. During Mass, “I saw a few boys wiping tears,” he said.

Bishop Daniel E. Flores of Brownsville, head of the local Brownsville Diocese, accompanied the delegation, which included a visit on the first day to a humanitarian center operated by Catholic Charities. He said there’s a need to address the “push factors” driving immigration from Central America, a place where migrants are fleeing a variety of social ills, including violence and economic instability.

The U.S. border bishops have frequent communication with their counterparts in Mexico and Central America on a variety of topics, he said during the news conference, but the problems driving immigration to the U.S. are complex.

He said he has spoken with parents in Central America about the danger of the journey but recalled a conversation with mothers in places such as Honduras and Guatemala who have told him: “My son will be killed here, they will shoot him and he’s 16. What am I supposed to do?”

“These are extremely complex and difficult situations,” he said. “This is a hemispheric problem, not just a problem on the border here.”

 Press Conference Video with Bishops Available Online

The press conference held July 2 with Bishop Bambera and fellow U.S. Bishops who are visiting the border crossing with Mexico in the area of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas, can be viewed at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4CNCftPSAE

The press conference was held on July 2 with Bishop Bambera and fellow U.S. Bishops who visited the border crossing with Mexico in the area of the Diocese of Brownsville, Texas.