Diocese of Scranton Statement Regarding Grand Jury Report
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.