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Pa. Priest Exploited Teen's Confession of "Sin" to Groom Her for Sexual Abuse

By Brandie Kessler
York Daily Record
September 19, 2018

https://www.ydr.com/get-access/?return=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ydr.com%2Fstory%2Fnews%2F2018%2F09%2F19%2Fclergy-abuse-survivors-catholic-church-priest-sexual-allentown-father-james-gaffney-grooming-victim%2F1215456002%2F

Mary McHale was in her senior year of high school at Reading Central Catholic when the rumors started to spread.

Her classmates were saying she was gay.

McHale, a standout athlete who was one of four children, knew the rumors were true but she didn't know how to reconcile that with what she had been taught. It was 1989 and almost impossible for teenagers to come out as gay. Being gay was "taboo, a mortal sin," she said.

Raised Catholic, McHale believed each of the paths before her would lead to the same place: She could be gay and go to hell; live a lie and go to hell; or take her own life and go to hell.

Overwhelmed by her secret, she did what she had been taught her whole life and went to confession to confide in her priest.

 

 

 

 

 




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