Eight more from Diocese of Scranton ‘credibly accused’ of abuse

River Reporter

November 4, 2020

By Owen Walsh

Church compensates nearly 250 abuse claims

Scranton – More than two years since the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s sweeping grand jury report on “widespread sexual abuse” throughout the commonwealth’s Catholic churches, the Diocese of Scranton is continuing to add names to its list of “credibly accused.”

Pennsylvania’s 2018 grand jury report identified 301 priests in the state who had committed abuse, including 59 in the Diocese of Scranton, which serves 350,000 Catholics in NEPA. The grand jury concluded that the “several [Scranton] diocesan administrators, including the bishops, often dissuaded victims from reporting to police or conducted their own deficient, biased investigation without reporting crimes against children to the proper authorities.”

Now, the diocese has announced that six more priests, one member of a local religious order and one lay employee have been added to the list of credibly accused. Of the six priests, the only one still living is the retired, 80-year-old Monsignor Joseph Kelly, who denies the accusations.

“I say to my family, my friends, my former parishioners, that these claims are absolutely not true,” Kelly said in a statement.

According to a release, the diocese assesses the credibility of allegations of abuse through assessments by outside counsel and investigation by a former FBI agent. All allegations are submitted to the appropriate district attorney’s office.

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