Friday, April 4, 2014

Rev. Phillip Altavilla - Diocese of Scranton

Rev. Philip Altavilla shows his childhood bunny during a homily.

(EDIT: Some folks seem to lack basic reading comprehension skills, so in an attempt to make this piece more readily understandable to those with limited skills, I have made some edits in red, with the EDIT before it. In parenthesis. Thanks.)

Well, at least it isn't a little boy for a change. (Sarcasm) However, unlike our Bishop, who only sees the opportunity to show how "caring" he is towards the victim in an attempt to ensure that no one sues the diocese and takes his house, I am calling on the faithful to also pray for the priest involved, who has fallen to one of Satan's attacks.

However, who has not?

Right Bishop B?

Scranton police arrested a priest Thursday for plying (notice here the priest is "plying" her with alcohol. whatever does that mean? How does one ply? How much alcohol was given?) a 13-year-old girl with alcohol and touching her feet and thighs inappropriately after a midnight Christmas mass in 1998. 
Officers charged the Rev. Philip Altavilla, 48, who was a pastor at St. Patrick's Parish in Scranton at the time of the alleged crime, with indecent assault, criminal attempt to indecent assault and corruption of minors.
The victim, who was a member of the St. Patrick's Parish, told police that the Rev. Altavilla gave (now he merely "gave" her alcohol. Again, I ask how much?) her alcohol in the rectory after the midnight service, then offered to drive her home at about 3 a.m. Once in the car, he pulled her legs on his lap and began touching her feet and moving his hands up her legs until the victim attempted to escape, according to the criminal complaint. The priest then apologized and drove the girl home. (Thank God he was able to restrain himself and it ended there.)

The woman met with police Wednesday to report the assault. (Nearly 16 years later. A fact. Sorry for bringing out facts in this case. Silly me.) One day later, she called the priest while police listened. He admitted to providing alcohol and to touching her, saying it was "inappropriate" and sexual to him, according to the complaint.
The Citizens' Voice does not name victims of sexual assault.
 Upon being notified of the charges, the diocese removed the Rev. Altavilla from his assignment and his faculties to exercise priestly ministry were suspended, according to a statement released by Diocese of Scranton Chancellor Teresa Osborne. The statement indicated the diocese was cooperating with police in their investigation.
 "I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior," Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said in the statement. "It is particularly distressing that the pastor of our Cathedral Parish, who is known to countless numbers of the faithful and has served in so many positions of trust and responsibility in the Diocese of Scranton has betrayed that trust in such a manner."
 The Rev. Altavilla was arraigned Thursday and released on $75,000 unsecured bail. It was unclear late Thursday how long the priest has been with the Diocese of Scranton.
 pcameron@timesshamrock.com

As a side note, above is an example of the Citizen's Voice/Times actually reporting the news versus the lazy 'ole Times Leader who apparently can only manage to reprint the diocesan statement. And here that is, by the way:

On April 3, 2014, the Diocese of Scranton was notified of the arrest of the Reverend Philip Altavilla, a priest of the Diocese of Scranton and pastor of the Cathedral Church of Saint Peter, who was charged with corruption of a minor and indecent assault.  Upon being notified of these charges, the cleric was removed from his assignment and his faculties to exercise priestly ministry were suspended.  The Diocese immediately began its cooperation with law enforcement and asks that anyone who may have information about or may have been abused by this cleric contact the Scranton Police Department Detective Bureau at (570) 348-4139.
In response to this crime, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L. Bishop of Scranton, expressed his remorse and personal sorrow for the victim and all affected by the situation.  In acknowledging his concern for the Cathedral community as well as the faithful and clergy of the Diocese of Scranton, the Bishop said, “I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior.  It is particularly distressing that the pastor of our Cathedral Parish, who is known to countless numbers of the faithful and has served in so many positions of trust and responsibility in the Diocese of Scranton has betrayed that trust in such a manner.”  The Bishop requests that the faithful of the Diocese join him in praying for this victim and all who are impacted by sexual abuse.
Teresa Osborne
Chancellor
So, let's look at this carefully. A priest is accused and by his supposed acknowledgement he did in fact give a 13 year old girl alcohol, rubbed her feet and legs inappropriately.

16 years ago.

He didn't rape her. (EDIT: Thank God since we now know he enjoys this sort of thing.)

He didn't kill her. (EDIT: Thank God again)

He gave her alcohol, rubbed her feet and legs. (EDIT: This particular sentence is implying that this could have been much, much worse. What he did was bad enough, but remember and give thanks, especially knowing what we now know about this guy, that it wasn't much, much worse.)

Then he stopped when she resisted and took her home. (EDIT Thank God he didn't follow his recently revealed passion for restraint and assault.)

At 3 in the morning. Where were mom and dad? (EDIT: A silly question? Or a legitimate one?) No one wondered where this kid was and why she was coming home at 3am? (EDIT: Again, a question that needs to be asked. I'm a parent. I guarantee you I know where my kids are at all times.)

Why nearly 16 years later is this now 29 year old woman coming forward to report something as innocuous as this?

Am I the only one who thinks something is up?

I am calling on investigators to be sure to investigate Rev. Altavilla. Make sure he hasn't done anything like this before or since. Make certain that his behavior did not become worse, and that he has not actually harmed youngsters in any way.

Be sure to watch this carefully to see how it plays out. In the meantime, be sure to pray for both victims, the victim of Satan's attempt to pull down a priest, and the victim of that lust.

Here is a nice, traditional prayer for you. By the image above we can see that he is clearly not a traditional priest, but say it for Rev. Altavilla. Say it for ALL priests that they remain true and to ward off the attacks of the evil one on them. Say it that the Rev sees this and amends his life and ministry should he be allowed to do so. Pray he finds tradition in his heart and allows it to flourish.

But just say it.


O Jesus, Eternal Priest, keep Thy priests within the shelter of Thy Sacred Heart, where none may touch them. 

Keep unstained their anointed hands, which daily touch Thy Sacred Body. 
Keep unsullied their lips, daily purpled with Thy Precious Blood. 
Keep pure and unworldly their hearts, sealed with the sublime mark of the priesthood. 
Let Thy Holy Love surround them from the world's contagion. 
Bless their labors with abundant fruit, and may the souls to whom they minister 
be their joy and consolation here and their everlasting crown hereafter. 



Mary, Queen of the Clergy, pray for us: obtain for us numerous and holy priests. Amen. 



16 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothings up. He's done it before. He will do it again. It's not the first time.

Anonymous said...

Great comment Traddy. I cant believe our good Bishop did not ask for prayers for Father. May all concerned be consoled by the Holy Spirit including our Bishop.
Tess208

Anonymous said...

"So, let's look at this carefully. A priest is accused and by his supposed acknowledgement he did in fact give a 13 year old girl alcohol, rubbed her feet and legs inappropriately.
16 years ago.
He didn't rape her.
He didn't kill her.
He gave her alcohol, rubbed her feet and legs.
Then he stopped when she resisted and took her home."
I'm not really sure how you can dedicate a blog to discussing matters in the"loosely Catholic Diocese of Scranton" and somehow confuse your above statement as being, what I assume you to espouse as 'traditional Catholicism.' There are some things about this case that do seem strange, but it appears that Father Altavilla did admit to them. The fact that he didn't kill or rape her does not make what he, himself admits he did any less wrong. A twenty-something year old man supplying alcohol to a teen by an adult is wrong, priest or not. That same person rubbing her feet and legs after supplying her with alcohol is still wrong, priest or not. The fact that he did stop when she protested is small solace. What if she had passed out, and he continued further? Fairly or not, someone acting "in persona Christi" is held to a higher moral standard. I also hope that this case is fairly and thoroughly investigated. And if evidence points to guilt, a priest should not be treated any differently under civil law than anyone else. If guilty, he should also receive the appropriate penalties under Canon Law.
Years ago, the "traditional Church" may have made the offender promise that he wouldn't do it again and move him to another parish, where it all to often happened again. At least our so called 'liberal' Bishop B (as you call him) didn't let that happen...I guess that labeling and name calling must be a traditional and conservative Catholic thing as well. I will be praying for the victim, Fr. Altavilla and you as well.

Anonymous said...

Bishop Bambera's Canonical Ordination must not be valid since he doesn't wear a 3 foot high mitre or white gloves. Pope Alexander VI dressed like Bishop Sample, and he may not have been the best Bishop of Rome the Church has produced..Clothes do not make the man

Anonymous said...

But whoso shall cause one of these little ones who believe in Me to fall, it were better for him that a millstone were hung about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Matthew 18:6

Anonymous said...

Great insight and the above prayer is a great intro to the daily rosary. Thanks RTF
Tess208

Unknown said...

Thanks for your reflections. We must pray for each other. Satan is like a "Roaring Lion" waiting to devour. How vulnerable we are .Thank God he is merciful to us.

Anonymous said...

wow you are a wacko. you are the reason victims of sex crimes rarely speak up. You are striaght up pathetic.

Stephen Marquardt said...

I'm Steve Marquardt. Some may remember me through the local media as the founder of the Northeast PA Homeless Outreach Program. I've heard of this blog but it's the first time I've read it as I knew Fr. Altavilla.
First, rockintraddy blogspot is the most excellent thing I've ever read on the web or anywhere else. Secondly, your assessment of Fr. Altavilla's situation is exactly spot on. Let's watch this as it goes through the courts and pray for Fr. Philip as well as the alleged "victim".

Anonymous said...

Now what do you think? (read the news)

The Rockin' Traddy said...

"He didn't rape her.
He didn't kill her." He could have, though. And knowing now what we know about Altavilla, it's a lucky thing. Don't you agree?

The Rockin' Traddy said...

"Bishop Bambera's Canonical Ordination must not be valid since he doesn't wear a 3 foot high mitre or white gloves. Pope Alexander VI dressed like Bishop Sample, and he may not have been the best Bishop of Rome the Church has produced..Clothes do not make the man

Bishop Bambera, is that you? Sign your post next time. Or get a better tailor. :)

The Rockin' Traddy said...

"wow you are a wacko. you are the reason victims of sex crimes rarely speak up. You are striaght up pathetic."

Some guy with a blog is the reason victims of sex crimes don't speak out? Doesn't seem plausible but I joyfully await your next post. Thank you!

The Rockin' Traddy said...

"First, rockintraddy blogspot is the most excellent thing I've ever read on the web or anywhere else. Secondly, your assessment of Fr. Altavilla's situation is exactly spot on."

You are a scholar and a gentleman, sir!

Anonymous said...

A scholar, if Steve were one, would pick up on the first line and be disturbed by it "Well, at least it isn't a little boy for a change."

Next time I hear of a little girl of, say, 7 being raped, I will comment "Well AT LEAST she can't get pregnant." Phew!! I slept better knowing it wasn't a little boy.. at least!! But when you jump to the defense of a man "merely" giving a young girl alcohol... I mean.. you have a son.. Let me ask you... when he is a teen, can I "merely" give him alcohol? Maybe rub his toes? I'll let him alone if he cries. He'll be OK the rest of his life. Or maybe he will make it a "Tradition?" Think what this sort of thing does to the individual before you lean on the side of the pedophile.

The Rockin' Traddy said...

"A scholar, if Steve were one, would pick up on the first line and be disturbed by it "Well, at least it isn't a little boy for a change."

That line, and several others in the post were sarcasm. People seem to have as hard a time understanding sarcasm as they do acquiring the skill of reading comprehension. A link on acquiring those skills just for you, anonymous:

http://www-tc.pbs.org/now/classroom/acrobat/lesson06.pdf

As you digest something you have read, re-read it again and please do fight the urge to "fire off" a pithy response. I won't be posting them any longer once I am certain you are incapable of understanding the basics of what I have written here.

And from now on, I am back to my previous policy of no anonymous comments.