Priest steps down at Laflin parish amid abuse allegations

Wilkes Barre Times Leader

March 29, 2020

By Kevin Carroll

The pastor of a Catholic church in Luzerne County has stepped down from his post amid sexual abuse allegations.

A statement released by the Diocese of Scranton outlined multiple accusations against the Rev. James J. Walsh, pastor at St. Maria Goretti Parish in Laflin.

Walsh, while denying the accusations leveled at him, resigned as pastor in lieu of being removed by Bishop Joseph Bambera.

“On Wednesday, March 6, 2019, the Diocese of Scranton received an allegation of sexual assault involving Father James J. Walsh, pastor of Saint Maria Goretti Parish, Laflin. Upon receipt of this allegation, the Diocese immediately notified the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office,” reads the statement.

The initial accusation against Walsh was made regarding an alleged incident that took place in 1979, while Walsh was serving as an assistant pastor at the Church of Saint Gregory in Clarks Green, Lackawanna County.

The accuser was an adult at the time of the alleged assault.

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