Parishioners React to Scranton Priest Removal
By Eric Deabill
April 4, 2016
Parishioners in the Diocese of Scranton are reacting to news of another potential sex scandal.
As Eyewitness News first reported Sunday night, a priest from West Scranton has been removed from his position after an allegation of sexual misconduct.
Father Martin Boylan's name is still on the sign outside of Saint Patrick's Parish on Jackson Street but the priest's ability to perform mass has been suspended by the bishop.
Late Friday night, the Diocese of Scranton says it received an allegation against Boylan.
The accuser, who is now an adult, claims the abuse reportedly took place years ago in Wayne County.
"I'm just very shocked, disheartened," Donna Gilroy of Scranton said.
Donna Gilroy has been a parishioner of Saint Patrick's Parish her entire life.
She had mixed emotions as she talked about an allegation of sexual misconduct that has been made against her priest, Father Martin Boylan.
"We teach our kids to do well, to be respectful, to do what God wants us to do so it's hard to explain this," Gilroy said.
With Father Boylan now removed from the church in West Scranton, the Diocese of Scranton says it plans to cooperate fully with any investigation.
According to the diocese, the accuser claims to have been abused years ago.
Father Boylan had previously served at three churches in Wayne County.
The churches include Saint John the Evangelist in Honesdale, Saint Rita Parish in Gouldsboro and the now-closed Saint Joseph Parish in White Mills.
"I saw it on Facebook at first but I didn't really read it to see which priest it was," Christine Spiotto of West Scranton said.
At this point, no criminal charges have been filed against Father Boylan but the Wayne County District Attorney says state police are just beginning to follow-up on the allegation.
For Christine Spiotto, she says Father Boylan was nothing but a nice guy.
"He worked at the church picnics, he'd come around and talk to everyone and all that stuff," Spiotto said.
The Wayne County District Attorney says in this particular case, based on the allegation reported by the Diocese of Scranton, the statue of limitations would run out when this victim turns 50-years-old.
At this point, it is not known exactly how old this accuser is at this point. The Diocese of Scranton only says the accuser is an "adult."
Besides working in Scranton and Wayne County, Father Boylan also served churches in Mountain Top, Hazleton, Towanda, Canton and Troy.
The Diocese of Scranton is encouraging anyone who has been sexually abused by a priest or anyone else to immediately call police.