Priest Accused of Having Sexual Contact with a Teenager
By Shauna McNally and Julie Melf
April 3, 2014
A priest of the Diocese of Scranton was arrested for allegedly having sexual contact with a teenager.
Rev. Philip Altavilla, 48, was arraigned on Thursday.
Authorities said Altavilla had sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl back in 1998. He is facing corruption of minors and indecent assault charges.
Altavilla currently serves at St. Peter’s Cathedral in Scranton, which is the bishop’s seat, or the flagship church of the Diocese of Scranton.
Rev. Altavilla is out on bail.
Officials from the Diocese of Scranton said Rev. Altavilla was removed from his assignment and was suspended from his priestly duties.
In a statement released from the Diocese of Scranton, Bishop Bambera 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.”
Bishop Bambera went on to request that the faithful of the Diocese join him in praying for the alleged victim and all who are impacted by sexual abuse.