Diocese adds names to list of credibly accused

The Diocese of Scranton announced last week that eight additional names have been added to its list of individuals who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse of a minor. Two of the men on the list, both now deceased, once served in parishes in Susquehanna County.

In a press release issued Oct. 28 by the Diocese of Scranton, Bishop Joseph C. Bambera reasserted the Diocese’s commitment “to protect children and young people.” He stated it is his hope the publication of the additional names will be a step forward in the healing process for survivors.

Names added to the list of credibly accused individuals include Diocesan clergy members: Edmund F. Byrne; Joseph T. Conboy; Francis P. Corcoran; Walter L. Ferrett; Joseph P. Kelly; and Hugh Harold McGroarty.

Julius Reiner, a member of a religious order; and Mark Major, a member of the Laity, were also added to the list.

Of those added to the list last week, Joseph T. Conboy had served as the pastor at St. Lawrence Church in Great Bend, beginning Jan. 18, 1977. From there, he went to a church in Wilkes-Barre in 1984. Conboy died in February 2008.

Also added to the list was Francis P. Corcoran, who served as the pastor at St. Martin of Tours in Jackson, beginning Sept. 6, 1984. He left in 1987 to pastor at a church in Montoursville. Corcoran died in August 1996.

In August 2018, the Diocese published on its website a list of all clergy, staff and volunteers who had been credibly accused of child sexual abuse. Since that time, 11 additional names were added to the list in January 2019 and two more names were added in October 2019. The most recent additions to the list involve allegations of abuse submitted to the Independent Survivors Compensation Program (ISCP).

The Diocese assesses the credibility of allegations of abuse utilizing a process that includes, as appropriate, assessments by outside counsel and investigation by a former FBI agent. In addition, the Diocesan Review Board, an independent, consultative body comprised of members of the laity, a religious sister and one priest, performs a case-by-case review.

The Independent Survivors Compensation Program has provided more than $24 million to 213 survivors of abuse committed by Diocese of Scranton priests, members of religious communities and lay employees. The Diocese created the Program in January 2019 to publicly recognize the harm caused to survivors of abuse and demonstrate the Church’s commitment to those survivors.

The full report is available on the Diocese of Scranton website and the ISCP website.

“While no amount of money can take away a survivor’s pain and suffering, my hope has always been that it will aid in their healing and recovery,” Bishop Joseph C. Bambera said. “No child should ever face abuse. For those who have endured pain, I once again say, I am sorry. As bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, I take my obligation to support survivors of abuse very seriously.”

The Independent Survivors Compensation Program was purely voluntary and open to individuals who had submitted a complaint of sexual abuse to the Diocese before the program was first announced as well as individuals who had not previously submitted a complaint.

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