Diocese: Deceased Priest Accused of Sexual Abuse

By Mark Guydish
Times Leader
August 3, 2010

A deceased priest has been accused of sexually abusing young people during his tenure as assistant pastor at Holy Saviour Parish, Wilkes-Barre from 1954 to 1963, the Diocese of Scranton announced.

The Rev. James M. McAuliffe died in August, 1989, but a newspaper classified ad published in late June asked altar boys and students from Holy Saviour to call a telephone number if they wanted to talk about McAuliffe. The Diocese contacted the person who placed the ad, and that person reported the allegation of sexual abuse.

In a written statement, the diocese noted that it obviously can’t question McAuliffe, but that “nevertheless, the Diocese of Scranton is eager to assist any person who has been the victim of sexual abuse by a member of the clergy.”

The statement encourages anyone claiming abuse by McAuliffe or any priest to contact Diocesan Victim Assistance Coordinator Joan Holmes at (570) 344-5216, Chancellor James B. Early at (570) 207-2216, or Vicar for Clergy Rev. Thomas Muldowney at (570) 207-2269.

The diocese has notified appropriate law enforcement officials in the counties with churches where McAuliffe served: St. Ann, Tobyhanna, 1942 and 1954; St. Thomas, Archbald, 1942-1945; Our Lady of the Snows, Clarks Summit, 1945; St. Mary, Help of Christians, Pittston, 1945-1947; St. Paul, Scranton, 1947-1953; St. Therese, Shavertown, 1953; Holy Saviour, Wilkes-Barre, 1954-1963; Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Dickson City (St. Thomas, Dickson City), 1966-1969; St. Joseph, Forest City (St. James, Pleasant Mount), 1969-1973; St. Patrick, Scranton (St. David, Scranton), 1973-1989.

The diocese has also asked those parishes to print notices in their weekly bulletins regarding the situation, and closed the written statement by saying “The Catholic Church is eager to assist those who have been hurt by sexual abuse.”



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