|Priest Removed from Ministry
June 8, 2011
The Society of Jesus, better known as the Jesuits, have permanently removed a Catholic priest who has worked in Lackawanna and Luzerne counties since 2003 after an accusation he sexually assaulted a minor.
The Rev. Louis Bonacci has worked as coordinator of spiritual direction for priests and deacons at the Diocese of Scranton since 2005. He also worked as an adjunct theology professor and campus minister at the University of Scranton in 2003 and 2004 and as an adjunct theology professor at Misericordia University in 2004.
The Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus said it received an allegation in April that Bonacci touched a minor in a family home improperly in the period between 1978 and 1982. Bonacci was then working as assistant director of campus ministry at Loyola College in Baltimore.
The Jesuits said it was the first such allegation they received about Bonacci.
The Maryland Province said it removed Bonacci from all ministry while investigating the allegation. The Diocese of Scranton said it also suspended the priest's employment immediately.
After investigating the incident, the Jesuits permanently removed Bonacci from ministry. The Diocese of Scranton has also terminated his employment. The Jesuits said in a release he now lives at a monitored residence within his Jesuit community in Maryland.
The Maryland Province said it reported the allegation to police in Maryland, but police will not begin an investigation unless the victim of the alleged assault contacts them directly.
The Diocese of Scranton in February removed another priest, the Rev. Mark Honhart, accused in a Missouri lawsuit of molesting a young boy in the 1980s.
The Maryland Province also issued a notice in December seeking information from possible victims abused as children about Neil McLaughlin, a Jesuit priest who was ordained in 1959 and served in Scranton for much of his religious career.
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