Diocese of Scranton Priest Punished for Alleged Sexual Conduct

By Steve McConnell
October 27, 2011

A ruling from the Vatican forbids a Diocese of Scranton priest from celebrating Mass in public or even wearing clerical garb in the wake of accusations of sexual abuse.

According to a diocesan statement released Wednesday, Monsignor J. Peter Crynes was removed from active ministry in 2006 after unspecified sexual abuse accusations involving him arose.

Monsignor Crynes, a former pastor at St. Therese's Church in Shavertown, Luzerne County,, will remain a priest but will not be assigned to any parishes, diocesan spokesman Bill Genello said Wednesday night.

"He will not be performing any ministries as a priest," Mr. Genello said. "He hasn't been defrocked. He is still technically a priest."

The diocese referred the allegations to the Luzerne County District Attorney's office, which did not press charges, Mr. Genello said.

Within the church, Monsignor Crynes' case was referred to Rome. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith mandated that he be "removed from all public ministry and relegated to a life of prayer and penance," according to the diocesan statement, and also is "expected to dedicate his life to praying for victims and repenting of his past offenses."

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