Pope Defrocks Suspended Priest in Altoona-Johnstown Diocese

Associated Press
May 5, 2004

A suspended Roman Catholic priest who had been the subject of sexual abuse allegations was defrocked, officials said.

Joseph F. Gaborek Jr. served in parishes in Cambria and Somerset counties before he was suspended about 16 years ago. He was dismissed from the clerical state by Pope John Paul II in late February, The Tribune-Democrat of Johnstown reported in its Wednesday editions.

Sister Mary Parks, the spokeswoman for the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, said Wednesday that Bishop Joseph V. Adamec addressed Gaborek's case more than a year ago in a statement to the media.

The statement said a family made accusations against Gaborek before Adamec became bishop and former Bishop James Hogan addressed the allegation.

No charges were filed against Gaborek, according to court records.

After Adamec became bishop in 1987, he placed Gaborek on administrative leave and arranged inpatient and outpatient evaluation and therapy for him, the diocese said. But Gaborek was uncooperative and he was suspended in July 1988, Adamec said in a statement.

A message left by The Associated Press at a telephone number listed under Gaborek's name was not immediately returned Wednesday afternoon.

The Tribune-Democrat reported it received a typed letter from someone claiming to be Gaborek. The writer said he would not comment and accused the newspaper of being biased and sensational "in the reporting of my own Human Errors and Failures as well as those of many other Roman Catholic Clerics."

Tribune-Democrat Editor David Levine said the newspaper had no comment about the letter.


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