Former Area Priest Accused of Molesting Minor

By Cheryl R. Clarke
The Sun-Gazette
November 17, 2011

The Rev. Thomas P. Shoback - who was a priest at St. Andrew's Church in Blossburg and at Our Lady of Lourdes in Montoursville - is accused of sexually abusing at least one child during his tenure at St. Andrew's, from February 1989 to July 1997, according to reports from the Diocese of Scranton.

The victim, who now is an adult, reported the alleged abuse to diocesan officials on Monday, said Bill Genello, executive director of communications for the diocese.

"At this point, we are aware of one victim," he said.

The alleged abuse occurred in the 1990s, Genello said.

Ordained in 1977, Shoback has served as pastor at Sacred Heart of Jesus and Mary in Jermyn, Lackawanna County, since 2006.

Following the allegation, the Diocese of Scranton immediately notified the Tioga County District Attorney's office, removed Shoback from ministry and suspended his faculties to exercise priestly ministries within the diocese, pending an investigation.

District attorney George Wheeler did not return a phone call Wednesday.

Genello vowed the diocese will cooperate fully with investigators.

Shoback's previous appointments include serving as:

Pastor at St. Joseph, Hudson, and Sacred Heart, Plains; Holy Redeemer, Falls-Harding; St. Mary and St. Andrew, Blossburg;

Assistant pastor at St. Joseph's, Hazleton; Nativity BVM, Plymouth; and St. Matthew's, East Stroudsburg; and

On the faculty at the former Bishop Hoban High School, Wilkes-Barre.

St. Andrew's was consolidated and the building sold and the parish now is part of the Holy Child Parish in Mansfield.

Shoback's brother, Edward, also was a priest and was defrocked by the Vatican in 2009 on charges of alleged sexual contact with minors.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.


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