30 Priests Accused of Assault Served Valley Parishes

By Eric Scicchitano
Daily Item
August 7, 2018

The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg released an updated list Monday documenting clergy and seminarians accused of sexual abuse of a child, revealing 30 priests served at Susquehanna Valley parishes.

A previous examination by The Daily Item revealed 17 of the priests served in the region.

The updated list includes assignments for all of the accused, something the diocese hadn’t released in the days after its initial report released last week. The assignments are key to showing local connections because some of the accused served as far back as 1926.

Available online at, the list shows priests served in Sunbury, Kulpmont, Coal Township, Centralia, Mount Carmel, Catawissa, Shamokin, Lewisburg, Selinsgrove, Danville, Trevorton and Elysburg.

The update, however, doesn’t include dates when the accusations were made or when the alleged crimes are said to have occurred. The diocese reiterated allegations were reported to law enforcement. None of the men are currently in ministry, according to Bishop Ronald Gainer.

The diocese added one additional name to its new list — Joseph Bradley, who spent 33 of his 51 years in ministry in Mount Carmel — raising the total count of accused clergy and seminarians to 72. The list includes 38 priests, 30 of whom served in the Valley.

According to the list, the 30 priests served 62 separate assignments at 18 different parishes or schools.

The Harrisburg Diocese report was released ahead of a redacted version of a 900-page grand jury report expected as early as Wednesday. The grand jury report explores allegations of sexual abuse committed by church leaders throughout six dioceses, including Harrisburg. An estimated 300 priests and clergy are named in the grand jury report, some of whose names will be redacted on a court order.

Here is a list of the assignments for each of the priests who served in the Valley. It doesn’t include the totality of their assignments. Most served throughout the diocese, moving among dozens of parishes including in Bloomsburg, Harrisburg, Lancaster and York.

Msgr. Joseph Bradley

Bradley had a 51-year career with the Catholic church. He served in Lancaster, Gettysburg and York. The bulk of his time in the priesthood, though, was in Mount Carmel. According to the diocese, he served Our Lady of Mount Carmel from 1963 to 96. He earned the title monsignor, a title granted by the pope for exceptional service to the church.

After he died, an accuser claimed Bradley committed sexual assault when the accuser was a child.

Father Raymond Dougherty

Dougherty spent 37 years in ministry, according to the diocese report. Assignments in the Valley were at Our Lady of Mercy, Catawissa, from 1962 to 1965, St. Joseph, Milton, 1958-62; St. Peter, Mount Carmel, 1954-57; St. Ignatius, Centralia, 1977-78. Dougherty is deceased. It was after his death that two people accused him of sexually abusing them as children.

Father James Noel

Noel served three Valley churches: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel, 1954-55, St. Joseph, Coal Township, 1956-59, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Elysburg, 1965-68.

Like many of the accused, an accuser named Noel as their abuser after his death — in this case, in 1980.

Father Carl Steffen

The diocese lists Steffen as having served the former St. Joseph in Coal Township, now Our Lady of Hope, from 1963-69. An accuser claimed Steffen sexually assaulted them. The diocese states Steffen also was accused of inappropriate questioning of multiple children regarding sexual subject matter. Those accusations came while he was alive. He died in 2015.

Father Francis Bach

Bach’s tenure at St. Joseph in Danville was short: he served in 1970. The bulk of his time as a priest was in Harrisburg, Hershey and surrounding areas. A native of Atlas, a village outside Mount Carmel, Bach died in 2010, according to an obituary published in the Lebanon Daily News.

The diocese reports Bach had multiple accusations of sexual abuse of children.

Father Arthur Long

Long is listed as having served St. Joseph and Geisinger Medical Center in Danville in 1975. He was a Jesuit priest. Long, who is dead, was accused in life of soliciting a child for sex. According to the diocese report, Long had a sexual relationship with an adult that began when the adult was a child.

Father Stephen Rolko

The diocese lists Rolko as having served St. Joseph in Danville in 1968-69 and also St. Joseph in Milton, including the Lewisburg Penitentiary, from 1969 to 1975. A history on the Holy Trinity Church in Columbia, one of his assignments, notes he died in 1993.

After his death, an accuser made an allegation of sexual abuse against Rolko.

Father John Suknaic

Suknaic had three assignments in the coal region. He served Our Lady of Mount Carmel from 1950 to 1954 and St. John the Baptist, also in Mount Carmel, in 1968 and 1969. His longest assignment locally was at St. Ignatius of Loyola, Centralia, where he served from 1969 to 1987. He also is listed by the diocese as having served at Danville’s Maria Joseph Manor twice, in 1987-88 and 1995-96.

He died in 2004, according to the Patriot-News. An accusation came after his death.

Father Robert Maher

Maher served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Kulpmont in 1939. He retired from ministry in May 1975 and died in June 1990, according to York Daily Record.

The newspaper reported in 2016 on allegations made against Maher and others as part of a special report and ongoing coverage, “Shadowed History.” After he died, he was the subject of multiple allegations, according to the diocese.

Father Walter Emala

Emala served St. Peter in Mount Carmel from 1981 to 1985. According to the diocese, someone reported having witnessed Emala kiss a minor on the lips in the early 1980s. Emala is on a list of accused priests of the Archdiocese of Baltimore. He died in 2008.

Father John Bolen

Bolen is listed as having the earliest appointment on the list: Our Lady of Mount Carmel, 1926. He also served St. Patrick in Trevorton, 1945 to 1953, the diocese states. An accuser came forward with an abuse allegation after he died.

Father Frederick Bradel

Bradel served St. Ignatius in Centralia from 1947 to 1948. He died in 1997. After his death, the diocese learned of an accusation in which an accuser claimed suffering years of “inappropriate behavior” at the hands of Bradel, the report states.

Father Joseph Hager

Hager, a monsignor, served St. Joseph in Locust Gap, 1939-1940. He died in 1992. After his death, it was alleged he abused a child.

Previously observed in the diocese report through an examination by The Daily Item are the following former Valley priests and their updated local assignments:

John Allen

St. Pius X, Selinsgrove, 1980-86

James Beeman

St. Joseph, Danville, 1959-61

St. Joseph, Milton, 1968

St. Ignatius, Centralia, 1968

Thomas Ronald Haney

St. Edward, Shamokin, 1967-70

St. Anthony, Coal Township, 1970-76

Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School principal, 1967-76

William Havilland

St. Joseph, Danville, Geisinger Medical Center, 1988-90

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary, Elysburg, 2010-15

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Lewisburg/St. George Mission, Mifflinburg 1987-88

St. Edward, Shamokin, 1970-76

St. Monica, Sunbury, 1995-2010

George Koychick

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel, 1952-53

Francis Hudak

St. Joseph, Coal Township, 1975-93

Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Kulpmont, 1955-63

Holy Cross, Mount Carmel, 1963-69

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel, 2001-05

St. Pius X, Selinsgrove, 1969-71

Anthony McGinley

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel, 1953-57

St. Monica, Sunbury, 1957-61

Joseph Pease

Divine Redeemer, Mount Carmel, 1995-2002

St. Peter, Mount Carmel, 1962-63

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel, 1971-73

Charles Procopio

St. Joseph, Danville, 1956-59

St. Casimir, Kulpmont, 1991-94

St. Peter, Mount Carmel, 1979-83

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Mount Carmel, 1994-95

Thomas Scala

St. Joseph, Milton, 1994-2011

Donald Cramer

St. Monica, Sunbury, 2010-12

Thomas Kujovsky

Our Lady of Mercy, Catawissa, 1966-67

St. Casimir, Kulpmont, 1957-62

St. John, Mount Carmel, 1969-72

St. Joseph, Locust Gap, 1967-69

Mount Carmel Elementary School principal, 1964-72

Philip DeChico

St. Joseph, Coal Township, 1976-77

St. John, Mount Carmel, 1979-86

St. Edward, Shamokin, 1977-79

Our Lady of Lourdes Regional School, assistant principal, 1976-79, principal, 1979-86

Thomas Lawler

Sacred Heart of Jesus, Lewisburg/St. George Mission, Mifflinburg, 1971-87

Daniel J. Mahoney

St. Joseph, Coal Township, 1961-64

St. Edward, Shamokin, 1954-56

Patrick Shannon

St. George Mission, Mifflinburg, dates not included in Diocese report

Salvatore Zangari

St. Peter, 1946-51

St. Monica, Sunbury, 1964-1969








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