Sunday, August 1, 2010


Did y'all see this from the Diocese web-site?

The Diocese of Scranton has received a report from an individual that the late Father James M. McAuliffe was sexually abusive to young people.

In late June, a classified advertisement published in a local newspaper asked altar boys and students from Holy Saviour Parish, Wilkes-Barre, to call a telephone number if they wanted to talk about Father McAuliffe, who served as assistant pastor in the parish between September 18, 1954 and April 3, 1963. Diocesan personnel contacted the individual who placed the classified ad. This person reported that Father McAuliffe was sexually abusive to young people. Father McAuliffe died on August 7, 1989, so it is not possible to question him about his behavior with the individual making the claim or with any other child.

Nevertheless, the Diocese of Scranton is eager to assist any person who has been the victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy. If there is anyone claiming to have been abused by Father McAuliffe or any priest, he or she should come forward and make it known. Such abuse should be reported to the Diocese by calling the Victim Assistance Coordinator, Joan L. Holmes, (570-344-5216), or the Chancellor, James B. Earley, (570-207-2216) or the Vicar for Clergy, Father Thomas M. Muldowney, (570-207-2269).

The Diocese has requested that a bulletin announcement be printed and circulated in the parishes where Father McAuliffe served: St. Ann, Tobyhanna, 1942 and 1954; St. Thomas, Archbald, 1942-1945; Our Lady of the Snows, Clarks Summit, 1945; St. Mary, Help of Christians, Pittston, 1945-1947; St. Paul, Scranton, 1947-1953; St. Therese, Shavertown, 1953; Holy Saviour, Wilkes-Barre, 1954-1963; Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dickson City (St. Thomas, Dickson City), 1966-1969; St. Joseph, Forest City (St. James, Pleasant Mount), 1969-1973; St. Patrick, Scranton (St. David, Scranton), 1973-1989.

The Diocese has notified law enforcement officials in the counties where Father McAuliffe served about the classified ad, the claim made against Father McAuliffe and the Diocese’s efforts to locate victims.

The Catholic Church is eager to assist those who have been hurt by sexual abuse.
I wonder if the Diocese is so pro-active if the priest in question were still alive?


Anonymous said...

Good question...

- L

Anonymous said...

OMG, I am sure he Baptized my third son, since he was a good friend of my Dad's. Does this mean he was not really baptized??

Anonymous said...

That sucks! I hope not! I would think if he wasn't defrocked at the time, it still counts as your kid being baptized, even if it gives the creepy heebie jeebies. I mean sinning doesn't disqualify a priest from being able to baptize, does it Trady? Probably not all priests have a clean slate 100% of the time, even when performing sacrements. obviosly child abuse is a bad one but I'm just ...saying. I didn't think the validity of acts was contingent on the priest's state of sin or not...but I could be totally off, I'm not the scholar in these areas like Traddy lol.

- L

The Rockin' Traddy said...

Elaine, if you are concerned about the validity of any sacrament, you may contact the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in Rome. I wouldn't even bother with Scranton. They'll most likely tell you "yes" without a full investigation.

In order for a sacrament to valid, there must be matter and form. The matter in the case of baptism is water. The pronouncing of the words is the form, namely "I baptize you in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit".

There is also intent, but I would assume hopefully his intent was to baptize the child in the name of Christ. You can read more about priestly intent and the conferring of sacraments at the New Advent site

So basically if the matter and form are correct, you should be good to go.

Hope that answers your question.