Monday, October 19, 2009

Scumbag Of The Day

Diocese of Scranton "priest" Robert Timchak was charged with 16 counts of child sexual abuse for having pictures of naked underage boys on his computer. He was also charged with tampering with evidence. He was released without bail.

Released without bail.

Did you read that?

I'd feel better for underage boys in the area knowing this guy was locked up. Especially since "Father Bob" made news a few years past for bitching about the Bishop when the school he worked at was closed, now we know why he was so upset.

He was so upset he took a leave of absence as I recall. Why was that? I hope we don't learn it was to treat him for his perversion, after which treatment, he was brought back. And as we learned from the Diocese, this past April he took ANOTHER leave for medical reasons.

And he did it again.

So what I'm saying is that this guy doesn't respect authority and I wouldn't be surprised to see him hoof it out of town.

He must have been made aware he was to be arrested because he turned himself in this afternoon.

The Diocese released this statement:

The Diocese is saddened by the situation regarding Father Robert M. Timchak. These charges are distressing and would be very unfortunate if proven true.

On Dec. 9, 2008, the Diocese received information from an anonymous source about possible improper use of a computer by Father Timchak. Subsequently the Diocese contacted the Pike County district attorney, without any notification or involvement by Father Timchak. The Diocese has been cooperating with the investigation.

All employees of the Diocese, including priests, must obtain criminal background and child abuse history clearances. Father Timchak received these clearances. The Diocese had no indication that he had ever engaged in any improper conduct.

In April, Father Timchak was granted a leave of absence from his most recent assignment as assistant pastor of St. Vincent de Paul, Milford, and St. John Neumann, Lord’s Valley to seek medical attention at a facility outside the Diocese. This was done with the knowledge of law enforcement officials.

The Diocese is completely committed to ensuring that no employee or volunteer is engaging in any improper conduct.

At this difficult time, Cardinal Justin Rigali, Apostolic Administrator of the Diocese of Scranton, asks for prayers for Father Timchak, his family and friends.


Anonymous said...

Why ask for prays...better start asking for money in your appeal and a second collection to pay more legal fees and settlements. and the church wonders why the numbers are down. what a bunch of self serving hypocrites. and they blamed the school closings on the teachers union. disgust me to know end. anyone who continues to give money to this organization is a FOOL.


Anonymous said...

This is terrible for all the parents, children and others who put their trust in Father Bob Timchak. But it has nothing to do with the closing of any schools. If "Carl" wants the facts on school closings, he needs to look at the declining enrollments and the financial state of the schools affected.
The Diocese does not pay legal fees for piests accused of crimes.
Father M.

Anonymous said...

Dear Rockin,

I just had to leave a comment after reading Father M's comment. With all respect, who is paying for Father Timchak's stay at a "treatment" facility (Downingtown?). Is the money for his treatment coming from the Diocese? And where, Father, does THAT money come from? It comes from us, the parishioners. All those collections for the 'care' and education of priests, as well as funds from the Diocesan Annual Appeal and our weekly collections. WE, the parishioners, also subsidize the insurance premiums that the diocese pays to mitigate these acts by our parish priests. Please do not think that this parishioner is so naive to think that money is not leaving the Diocese to pay for treatment and other legal and insurance items for, not only, Father Timchak but other priests from this diocese who are at these 'treatment' facilities. And YES people are leaving the churches out of shear disgust with the behavior and lack of remorse from these priests and Diocesan officials. It's NOT demographics. As far as prayers are concerned, I'm praying for the poor children who are exploited in these videos. These children are ruined. Timchak has committed 'soul death' by subscribing to these sites.

A very disgusted

St. Mary's of Dorrance Parishioner

Anonymous said...

“Never let evil talk pass your lips; say only the good things men need to hear, things that will really help them. Do nothing that will sadden the Holy Spirit with whom you were sealed against the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, all passion and anger, harsh words, slander, and malice of every kind. In place of these, be kind to one another, compassionate, and mutually forgiving, just as God has forgiven you in Christ.” (Ephesians 4:29–32)


Anonymous said...

Saint Mary's,

Your outrage is understandable. I have found since 2002, and in this Diocese that despite it all, our people's Faith is strong. Fortunately the survival of the Church depends on God, not man.

I do want to say however that the question of "abuse settlements" is paid out in general by insurance carriers, and the Diocesean Self Insurance. Offerings and appeals do not pay for that. However people can always make a restricted donation if they feel their money might be used to pay a settlement. The Diocese has some accounts which are "restricted." This means that the money in those accounts can only be used for "school scholarships" for example and nothing else. Now, what happens if the Diocese is sued beyond insurance capabilities? What would happen is that the Diocese would plead bankrupcy.

However the laywers for the victims would try to go after parish assets as they have in other places. (Fortunately so far they have not been sucessful.) The matter would eventually go to court if they push far enough, and no one really knows how the courts would rule.

What I can say is this: In the state of PA, there was a Supreme Court ruling which recognizes a church's own laws as binding on the Church. For Catholics, that would be Canon Law. Under Canon Law parish assets are considered seperate from the Diocese, and parishes are set up as Juridic Persons seperate from the Diocese. In essence if I am correct about the Supreme Court ruling, parish assets cannot be touched to pay settlements, and lawyers would have no legal basis to try to go after them. I can also garuntee you that if they "Pierce the corporate veil" they would find that the Diocese runs as Canon Law dictates. Bishop Martino had one of the worlds foremost experts in Canon Law working for him when he was bishop.

As for the treatment place- the media inaccurately reported that the treatment place where Father Timchak is residing is a treatment place for priests with his problem. That is not accurate. It is a GENERAL treatment place. For example- an alcoholic priest might be sent there for treatment.

I am assuming that a priest's health coverage would pay for his treatment at such places. If my assumption is true, the Diocese would not directly pay the treatment facilities, and hence once again people's offerings would not pay for such treatment.

The offering being taken up for priest care, etc is for a few things:

1) Seminary Formation
2) Retired Clergy pension and health insurance
3) Further education of existing priests

On a final note- why wasn't he removed when the Diocese got the letter? I am no lawyer, but let me give you a guess. If you are going to destroy someone's life, you better have your ducks in a row. In other words you need more evidence then some anonymous letter. How do you know the person who sent the letter is not simply trying to "get back" at the priest over some disagreement?

You have the right to face your accusers and know WHO is accusing you, and WHAT they are accusing you OF. In this case the Diocese did the right thing- they turned over the letter to those best equipped to gather the evidence so that charges could be filed. Once charges are officially filed, the Diocese may then remove the person from ministry until after the trial etc. is over. If the person is guilty, they go to jail and never function as a priest again. If they are innocent, they return to active ministry.

Seems reasonable to me. What is unreasonable about what I have said?

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...

Funny how the Diocese cries, Send us money, we have no money,we are going to close your school's and church's...Now on that note, I was walking past a church that is scheduled to be closed, it's St. Therese in Wilkes Barre, they were having confirmation tonight, and parked in the Rectory driveway is a catering van,Coopers Seafood Catering. They were hauling in all sorts of stuff. I stood there for a while watching this, thinking to myself,isn't that nice,a big old and expensive(one would think) catered event at a church which will be closing soon because of LACK OF MONEY.Now who payed for this? Then I also look to see one of the priests cars who was attending, a nice late model shiny black caddy parked almost in front of a fire hydrant...Must be nice... I URGE EVERYONE DO NOT give another penny to the Diocese, you would be better giving to a childrens hospital or something along those lines.

Neighborhood Guy Stan

Anonymous said...

I’m glad to see St T’s having a big ol’ party after Confirmation. If there’s anything truly worth celebrating, it’s a young person’s reception of a sacrament. It helps them to understand that it’s a very special occasion. Unfortunately, many Catholics are clueless about the all-important eternal perspective, and think it’s more important to spend their money on tailgating at Penn State games, or throwing their money down the hole at Mohegan Sun.

Did you know that Cooper’s is owned by a Catholic family? Did you also know that Steve Cooper’s house burned down about a year ago, creating a great hardship for him and his family? I think it was a fabulous idea to have Cooper’s cater the post-Confirmation celebration!!

Anonymous said...

Walt--In case you haven't figured it out; the "catered" event wasn't for the children and their families, IT WAS FOR THE PRIESTS!!!! The children and their families had to PAY out of their own pockets for their own meal, party, or what have you!!

Anonymous said...

Right you are Elaine,the catered event was held in the rectory for the priests only. Bring on the cracked crab..,but exactly who paid for the catering,the parrish? And it had to cost a pretty penny.


Anonymous said...

Who cares if a priest drives a caddy? Maybe it was a gift, maybe he is a car enthusiast...and saved up to enjoy his hobby...again, who cares?

Scranton Area Catholic

Anonymous said...

Elain, Stan, and Walt:

Get over yourselves.

So don't give another penny to the Diocese. Who cares? I certainly don't. Will you please THINK? Do you really think parishes and schools are closing all becasue the cateror was Coopers? How do you know Coopers wasn't donating their services, or giving a reduced price? Sheesh how I wish you people would use your heads.

No parish or school is closing becasue of a caterored event!

Confirmation is a huge celebration and it is a time for priests to get together with each other and share fellowship. What would you have them eat? Who would you have cater the event? These things take place once in a while, not every day. I think you can give them the benefit of the doubt.

Sir Rockin One, I can't believe you let them post such nonsense without answering it. I am glad you posted their posts however- I just wish you would have answered it.

The Rockin' Traddy said...


If you want to be a Catholic watchdog, call the rectory and ask your questions. Then report back here and I will follow up on it.

But if the parish did not pay for the soiree, that's the end of the matter. Priests receive a salary like everyone else and are certainly able to spend their money as they see fit.

So unless you come up with information to the contrary, your just pissing in the wind my friend. You'll need to find another reason to not give money to the church.

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

Sorry, I authored the post to Stan, Walt, and Elain. I was so mad I forgot to leave my name.

The total lunacy. Catholics for whatever reason have absolutely NO concept of business, money, or what it takes to run things.

Yes- the schools and parishes are closing becasue a meal was catered for 1000 or less. As if the problem was over a lousy 1000 dollars. Do these people really think we would do such drastic things if it was over a measly 1000dollars? Sheesh!

These people just don't get it! Sometimes I think they don't get it in purpose!

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One,

In all probability, the parish paid for that. SO WHAT? That is a legetimate business expense for a once in a while grand celebration. It is not like this is going on everday. Once a year? Once every three years depending on the Confirmation Schedule? Come on!

Let this Stan character self appointed "Catholic Watchdog" (whatever that means) take his self righteous indignation somewhere else. I have been to his website, though I have never posted.

Father Dave Bechtel

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Father - I knew that was you, that's why I put it up.

As far as the parish paying for the shindig, I really don't think it's appropriate. Were the parishioners consulted? People give money to the parish to do the work of the church. Not to pay for catered dinners.

I look at it the same way I do my tax dollars. There has to be accountability or you run into trouble. Like the priest I happen to know of who bought his mother a refrigerator and billed it to his parish. He may have paid the parish back, but I don't know that. I do know the parish paid for his mom's new fridge.

So I guess we'll have to disagree on this one.

Anonymous said...

First Off, I am not the or a catholic watchdog,don't even know how that started!! I just happen to belong to St Threse church and live around the corner, I am annoyed at the cavalier attitude of it's closing, and the waste of resources that continue in the church and the diocese. second, Fr Bechtel, seems to think that $1000.00 of parishoners money(donated to pay church expenses,like heat,electric,water,etc) is OK to use for a catered event.So where does it stop being OK...$2000.00,$5000.00,$25,000.00?? So how many more of the church's are having a little shindig here and therE on the donations of parishoners AND FOR HOW MANY YEARS? IT ADDS while tuition is being raised at schools and parents struggle to not only pay that but also support the parrsih,and church's going deeper into debt,Annual Appeal letters are being sent out for THE ALMIGHTY DOLLAR. Well ,if all the little shindig monies over the years were all of a sudden added up into a lump sum,one can only imagine how much that would be. Of course to Fr Dave, what's a measly thousand dollars here and there???


The Rockin' Traddy said...

I started the "Catholic Watchdog" thing.

Did you call St. Therese and respectfully inquire?

We're waiting to hear what you find out.

Anonymous said...


First, I don't know how much the event cost, I just guessed at a number. I don't know if the place gave the parish a deal, or donated the food or what. I am presuming the parish paid fully. I can tell you- if I was the pastor of that parish and you called me demanding to know why I dared to use parish money to feed the concelebrating priests who come to the Confirmation- I would tell you right where to go sir. I do believe in accountability- (in fact when I am pastor I intend to give a full accounting of the parish finance. I can say that at every parish where I was assistant if anyone asked, I would tell them what I know. There are no secrets and some people I think are dissapointed when they find that out.) at the same time our people have to realize there are legetimate business expense items. Feeding concelebrating priests at a Confirmation once a year, once every three years is one of those itmes. It is not too much to ask.

My point was that NO SCHOOL or PARISH is closing over this kind of thing. The School budget is 50 MILLION sir, 50 MILLION. I WILL say, sir, that no catered parish event in ANY parish of the Diocese since their founding will ADD UP TO THAT, NOR WOULD IT RESULT IN THE SAVING OF A PARISH OR SCHOOL.

Seconldy, the problem is not only financial, the problemm is a SHORTAGE OF PRIESTS AND PEOPLE. For example, just because a parish can pay it's bills is not the only factor going into these decisions. The next question is whether or not their is a legetimate pastoral need for the parish. (Simply a desire for the parish NOT to close does not establish legetimate pastoral need.) Finally, whether or not a priest can be spared. Hence a parish might pay it's bills, but there might be no legetimate pastoral need for the parish when another one is right up the street. Sir, congregations are shrinking and aging. We have to prepare for the future.

In any case there are three factors going into whether parishes stay open, finance is only ONE.

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...


To answer your other questions:

1) A buget each year is turned in to the finance council of the parish, and it is also turned into the Diocese. While under Canon Law, the pastor, not the finance council has final say, priests today understand the importance of having the finance council on board with you, and usually will not do something if the finance council is not on board.

2) Most likely this event would have been a buget item.

3) Anything over what is bugeted or what would be considered a day to day operating expense- such as fixing a boiler, AC, etc would need to be talked about with the finance council and permission from the Diocese. While the pastor has the final say, Canon Law mandates a finance council, and mandates the pastor consult with them on major business item expenses.

4) Whether you believe it or not, there are checks and balances in place. The fact is that this would have been one of them. You simply disagree with HOW parish money was used- BUT the parish used it legetimately.

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

Now my post to you.

Part of the work of the Church is dinner when priests get together for big events like Confirmation or 40 hours. THAT, sir Rockin one by the way is TRADITIONAL.

I could understand outrage if this was common occurance, but it is not. It is literally once in a while and it is budgeted for. I fail to understand why you see it as inappropriate. I realize the financial crunch Sir Rockin One, at the same time legetimate business affairs of the Church cannot come to a hault. This is legitimate. When priests come together for big things, the parish provides a meal for them.

My attitude is this: Parishes CANNOT sacrifice themselves for the schools for the simple reason that the schools are EXTENSIONS of the parishes, not the other way around. Parishes cannot have nothing going on and spend no money just becasue they have to pay school assessments. Piggybacking on that, we cannont keep parishes open all becasue people have emotional attachments to them. There needs to be a legetimate pastoral need demonstrated. A legetimate pastoral need is not "If you close my parish, I won't EVER go to Church again!" Such a statement is akin to a child who says "Unless I get my way, I will hold my breath." People don't hurt me, or the Diocese by not going to Mass, they hurt themselves. People also hurt themselves by not contributing becasue more schools and parishes close.

In the grand scheme of things, as I said whatever that catered event cost- it would not have effected much by not having it. It is not like the Church had to sacrifice fixing the stained glass so priests could have a catered dinner. In the grand scheme of things whatever that meal cost is negligable when compared to the things that really need to be done. Whatever that meal cost does NOT go very far in a parish when heating costs are 20K a month, school assessments are 27K a month, etc. THAT was my point. So in theory the Church saves 1000 on a catered meal. So what? What would that have impacted? That is nickes and dimes compared to the other expenses!

That is what I mean when I say people do NOT have a clue. I would love for people like Stan, Elain, and Walt who think they know it all just to be pastor/priest for a day and deal with what we deal with. Try to run a parish on someone's weekly dollar given in 100 pennies who is throwing a temper tantrum becasue the Mass schedule doesn't suit them. (As if the Mass Schedule was created specifically with THEM in mind, and as if we have to provide masses of convienience rather then Masses becasue there is a legetimate pastoral need.) Try to fix the stained glass on someone's monthly 3 dollar dues. Deal with all the whining and moaning about "Oh, poor us, the evil bishop doesn't care about me, me, me. The Diocese should revolve around ME and MY PARISH." "How dare the bishop do something that I, ME, and MYSELF don't agree with!"

Sir Rockin One, what say you?

Father Dave Bechtel

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Father -

I agree what you saying about the "me" mentality in the church today. I have been blogging against that since forever.

But I fail to see how a catered dinner is considered a legitimate business expense. If they were wooing clients to do business there, then yes. But to call it that when the dinner is for the private entertainment of the priests, then I'm still calling it an inappropriate use of hard to come by funds.


If you're saying that priests work hard, and deserve a night of revelry once in a while on the parishioners dime, then say that. Let's speak plainly, and call things what they are.

You say it's budgeted. Do the parishioners know that? I'm not begrudging the priests their due, I'm really not, but my bigger point is that if this sort of thing is going to go on, the parishioners should know and support it. My guess is that they have no clue.

But now we are getting into speculation.

Stan -

You make that phone call yet?

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

I am NOT saying priests deserve a night of "revelry" on the people's dime at all. I would NEVER even support such a concept! I will continue to maintain that the idea of food being provided by the parish as a professional courtesy for concelebrating priests at a Confirmation is a legetimate business expense. Again, I could understand your complaint IF this was the norm.

When the Diocese gets priests together say for a day of prayer, they feed us. The money for the food comes either from the appeal or the assessments. Should the Diocese stop doing that? Sir Rockin One as much as I respect you and your opinion, I find your heckling over a dinner provided or the priests rather arbitrary not to mention surprising. You act like the priests are living like Jim Baker or Joel Olsteen with gold faucets, air conditioned dog houses and 500 dollar shower curtains, and arbitrarily throwing money away that the people think is being spent on the parish.

In sum, Sir Rockin One- you are arguing that the Church should be penny wise but pound foolish. We are not allowed to spend 1000 dollars on a nice catered event becasue the money might be needed somewhere else. Fine where else? Is 1000 dollars going to pay the 20K heat bill? The 27K school bill? the 100K stained glass project? the 90K organ project? The 30K Bell Tower project? The 300K Church painting? New Carpeting for the Church, etc? THAT is my point. In the overall picture, 1000K for a once in a blue moon catered event is really negligable. Saving that money is NOT going to help anything. It is like saving a dollar so you have for your 27 dollar whatever.

Seconldy, you ask whether the people know specifically whether this was part of the budget. I can't answer that, becasue I can't speak for that parish and how the budget is presented. What I can say is that in all probability the finance council knew of this expense when the budget was gone over, but again, I am speaking only from my experience. I can't speak specifically to this parish becasue I know nothing of it.

So we should take a vote on whether we are allowed to feed priests at a Confirmation ceremony? Another surprising concept from one who identifies himself as "Traditionalist." In the Pre-Vatican II Church, Sir Rockin One, the pastor was God. This concept of "Consultation" or "bring it before the people" is suprisingly a Protestant Concept comming from you. Tell me, as long as we are doing that, would you be willing to sing "A Mighty Fortress?" (My entrance hymn at my First Mass!)But I admit that argument is an Ad Hominum and a Red Herring meant to be a little funny and in no way disrespectful. I am also NOT advocating a Pre-Vatican II model whereby there is absolutely no accountability.

The point, Sir Rockin One is that there is a role for "consultation of the people" and I support such a concept. That however would not be for day to day expendentures, that would be more for the huge projects. There has to be a point where the people simply trust their pastor with day to day expenses, even if that means a catered event at a Confirmation. We are not Protestant Sir Rockin One. We can't be running to the people asking them permission everytime a minor decision needs to be made, or the pastor wants to do something. There needs to be a balance. In this case, a catered event is a relatively minor decision.

Please produce the evidence that NOT having the event would have significantly helped the Church's financial situation, or lead to it's not closing.

Anonymous said...

Sir Rockin One:

Sorry, I did not post my name to the former comment. I could not do so becasue too many characters.

Anyway, to sum up my long, long earlier comment: You and Elain, and Stan, and Walt would have a point IF the money otherwise could have been used for something else, and it would have helped things in a meaningful or substantial way. In other words IF this kind of thing is causing schools to close or parishes to close, then you have a point. But as I keep saying, parishes are not closing becasue of this, nor schools. NOT having the event would NOT mean the parish's financial troubles are over, or that it could stay open.

Father Dave Bechtel

Anonymous said...

I agree with Fr. Bechtel. The priests gathering for confirmation are entitled to a meal, just as businessmen that go to a meeting are given a meal. Also, it has been done for as long as anyone can rememeber.

They are our spiritual Fathers, so deserve a meal. In the pre Vatican II days, some parishes paid for EVERY meal of the Pastor and (sometimes many) assistants!

Scranton Area Catholic

Anonymous said...

Father Dave--"part of the work of the church is dinner when priests get together---". Part of our life was always a summer trip to Myrtle Beach, until we could no longer afford it. Coopers???? Why not Perkins? Much cheaper, if you ask me. and, by the way, father Dave; for someone who is supposed to be educated--watch how I spell my name; ELAINE, Not ELAIN. I posted this some time ago, but traddy would not post it. My whole point being, live within your means. The diocese has been crying financial woes for some time now. They are "penny wise and pound foolish".

Anonymous said...

Also Father---"If I am the pastor of that church, and you called me asking why I dared--------I would tell you where to go". Are you really a priest? Telling a parishoner "where to go"? Please don't ever come up our way. Our priests are very open about how "our" money is spent. After all, it IS our hard earned money. Think about that the next time you eat a sumptious dinner from Coopers.

Anonymous said...

Father Dave, Me again. I'm so sorry. Until I read one of your earlier posts; you know, the one in which you complain about how hard you have it being a priest? I always thought being a priest was a calling. You sound as if someone put a gun to your head to go to Seminary. Yeah, my job is tough also, (nursing the aged), but I would do nothing else. Sorry you cannot be as fullfilled as me.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Elaine -

You've violated my rules for posting. You are being neither nice or courteous. Don't do it again.

I'm going to stop comments on this post. Unless Father Bechtel would like a retort.

Christian said...

If I May, Traddy:

For the record I would like to state that my brother Walt's post was actually in support of the priests, church, and dinner; and I hate to see him accidentally portrayed as complaining about this sort of thing.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Amazingly, people are still leaving me comments on this post, someone even dared me to post their comment!

This is my blog people. My rules. The original post was about Father Timchak, and the discussion turned so far off the track, and people were being so discourteous that I ended it. That's it.

Go calm down. I'm going to smoke a pipe.