|Newly Suspended Priest Worked in Scranton
June 7, 2011
Statement by Judy Jones, SNAP Midwest Associate Director, 636-433-2511
In regard to the release (below) from The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus and the Cincinnati Archdiocese about the sexual abuse allegations against Fr. Louis Bonacci, S.J, we now have learned that this priest was the coordinator of spiritual direction for priests and deacons at the Diocese of Scranton, Scranton, PA between 2005-2011.
We hope that diocese officials will aggressively seek out others who saw, suspected, or suffered sex crimes by Fr. Louis Bonacci.
We urge anyone with information regarding his alleged crimes to call police, not church officials.
Also, please know that there is help and support for anyone who has been harmed by this priest or any clergy.
Founded in 1989, SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priest (SNAPnetwork.org) is the world's oldest and largest organization of clergy sexual abuse survivors, with over 10,000 members and 72 chapters in the United States.
David Clohessy, SNAP National Director (314-566-9790 cell, SNAPclohessy@aol.com),
Barbara Dorris, SNAP Outreach Director (314-862-7688 home, 314-503-0003 cell, SNAPdorris@gmail.com)
Director, Office of Communications
513/421-3131 x6618 At Home: 513/471-5977
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 7, 2011
Statement from the Society of Jesus Regarding Fr. Louis Bonacci, S.J.
The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus is issuing the following update to all dioceses and institutions where Louis A. Bonacci, S.J. worked. This notice is for distribution within those dioceses and institutions and to others who may have had contact with Fr. Lou Bonacci.
In April 2011, the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus received an allegation against Fr. Louis Bonacci, S.J. dating from the period 1978-1982 that involved the improper touching of a minor in a family home. There had been no prior allegations against Fr. Bonacci.
Immediately upon receiving the allegation, the Society of Jesus reported it to the civil authorities; the Diocese of Scranton, where Fr. Bonacci was in ministry; and the Province Review Board. The Province leadership removed the priest from all ministry while the allegation was investigated.
The civil authorities in Maryland indicated they would not begin an investigation until the now-adult victim contacted them directly. However, the Province Review Board did undertake its own review. During this process, an allegation by a second individual was received by an investigator hired by the Review Board. This second allegation was reported to the civil authorities. The Province is committed to cooperating fully with the authorities during any investigation.
The Province is deeply concerned for those who have been harmed, and has reached out to both individuals who have come forward; they have been offered an apology and counseling, and have been encouraged to contact the civil authorities.
Following the recommendation of the Province Review Board, the provincial of the Maryland Province, Rev. James Shea, S.J., permanently removed Fr. Bonacci from all ministry. Anyone who has additional information involving Fr. Bonacci or who suspects abuse by any clergy or employee of the Jesuits is asked to contact local civil authorities, and Maureen Locher, special case coordinator for the Maryland Province, at 443-921-1326. Information on reporting and the Jesuitsí commitment to child protection is online at http://www.mdsj.org/children.html
Today, Fr. Bonacci resides in a monitored residence with his Jesuit community.
Fr. Bonacci entered the Jesuits in 1963 and was ordained in 1973. His ministerial assignments follow:
1968-1970: Teacher, St. Joseph Preparatory School, Philadelphia, PA
1970-1973: Student, Weston School of Theology, Cambridge, MA
1973-1974: Intern, Jesuit Center for Spiritual Growth, Wernersville, PA
1974-1978: Student, Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome
1978-1982: Assistant director of campus ministry, Loyola College, Baltimore, MD
1982-1988: Catholic campus minister, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC
1988-1994: Sabbatical and graduate studies at the International Marian Research Institute, University of Dayton, Dayton, OH
1994-1999: Campus minister, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH
1999-2003: Campus minister and adjunct professor of theology, Wheeling Jesuit University, Wheeling, WV
2003-2004: Campus minister, adjunct professor of theology and editor of Shepherds of Christ newsletter, University of Scranton, Scranton, PA
2004: Adjunct professor of theology, Misericordia University, Dallas, PA
2005-2011: Coordinator of spiritual direction for priests and deacons, Diocese of Scranton, Scranton, PA
If you know someone who has been abused at any time by an agent of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati (priest. deacon, employee or volunteer), the Archdiocese urges you to contact Sister Mary Garke, the Victimís Assistance Coordinator of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, at 513-421-3131 or 1-800-686-2724 as well as the victimís secular authorities.
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