Statement Regarding Father Thomas Shoback – May 1, 2013
Roman Catholic Diocese of Scranton
May 1, 2013
On May 1, 2013, Diocesan Officials confirmed the outcome of the trial of Father Thomas Shoback. Since November 2011, the Diocese of Scranton has cooperated with law enforcement’s investigation and prosecution of this criminal case. Now that the criminal justice system has brought this case to closure, the Diocese of Scranton recognizes that the announcement of this verdict will serve as a very painful reminder of the wounds many survivors carry with them, most especially those who were harmed by Father Shoback.
In response to the verdict, the Most Reverend Joseph C. Bambera, D.D., J.C.L., Bishop of Scranton, reacted, “At this time, I express my personal sorrow for the pain endured by those who suffered this abuse and extend my apology for any way in which the Church, and particularly its bishops, priests and deacons have failed them. I also reaffirm my personal commitment to exercise vigilance in our protection of children and young people and offer my sincere gratitude to all who worked so diligently to resolve this case. With the civil law process completed, in accordance with The Charter for the Protection of Children and Young People, Father Shoback is permanently removed from ecclesiastical ministry and his status as a priest will be referred to the Holy See for a final determination. While Church law has been and will continue to be exercised with regard to this situation, anyone who believes that they have been the victim of child sexual abuse is encouraged to contact law enforcement. Finally, I ask the faithful of the Diocese to join their prayers with mine to pray for the continued healing for all those impacted by child sexual abuse and all who search for healing, reconciliation and peace during this difficult time.”