Scranton Catholic Woes
November 6, 2009, 14:35
Filed under: Church wrongs, Uncategorized | Tags: , , ,

elec city
774px-Scranton_welcome_sign_from_The_Office_creditsSome of you have seen this sign on a TV show called ‘The Office’.   My daughter watches the show, I do not.  I tried, but I just do not get the humor,  if there is any. There is far more drama, and even comedy in the reality that is Scranton.  The City broke away from Wilkes-Barre a century ago at the hight of industrial Pennsylvania,  and is a fascinating place.  It is the home of two really quality, really Catholic, Universities,  Scranton U.  a Jesuit institution, and  Marywood,  founded by the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.   I am no expert, but that sounds about as Catholic as it gets.

Scranton is amazingly culturally diverse.  King coal brought in labor from Europe in stages.  The dates on the many churches give a guide to the waves of immigration.  First the Irish, then the Italians, and when the coal companies had enough of those, they went to Western Europe to recruit.  If there were one group they might unite, and that just would not do.  Fortunately for the mine bosses , all these ethnic groups pretty much  hated each other.  We have Slovak, Polish, Czech, Italian , Irish, Russian , Greek , Hungarian, and plain old Catholic churches in this area.  These groups never worshiped together, often fought in gangs, avoided intermarriage like the plague,   and had their own language, customs, foods holidays and Saints.  These were people who took their Catholicism seriously.  The church was a major part of their lives, providing all social contact, education in the English language and trades, and giving political direction.   Even today in Jessup, right outside Scranton,  St. Ubaldo races the other Saints for honor, it is close on occasion, but Ubaldo always wins!  Even when he fell of his perch one year and had to be hastily reassembled, he won!

Times are changing.  Now there is intermarriage,   a more homogenous culture, and a lot of empty churches.  Bishop Martino became very unpopular  by closing Catholic schools and churches.  The diocese was broke, he said, do to a lessening of contributions and the payouts made to all the child abuse victims.  As bad as things are, they get worse.  Like this.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Not remotely crime-related

In Scranton, Pa., a priest has been removed after a report on a diocesan fund-raiser went awry. He was trying to show an informational DVD using his personal computer and a projector. Only a series of scantily clad men appeared on the screen instead, the diocese states. Church leaders say none of the images were of juveniles, sexual activity or nudity. Just the same, a lot of people were upset.

Posted by James Hart on Tuesday, November 03, 2009 at 09:31 AM in Not remotely crime-related


Updated: October 22, 2009

Priest charged in porno probe

MILFORD — Authorities have arrested a local Catholic priest on charges of possessing child pornography.

On Monday, Pennsylvania State Police and Pike County District Attorney announced the arrest of 43 year-old Robert M. Timchack. Father Bob, as he is known, served at parishes including Saint Vincent’s in Dingman and Saint John Neumann in Lords Valley.

Timchack has been charged with: 16 counts, Sexual Abuse of Children (F2); 1 count, Sexual Abuse of Children (F3); 1 count, Criminal Use of Communication Facility (F3); and 1 count, Tampering with/or Fabricating Physical Evidence.

The investigation started on December 17, 2008 when the Pike County District Attorney’s Office received correspondence from the Diocese of Scranton reference an anonymous letter they had received. The Diocese advised that the letter contained explicit photographs and comments of young males, possibly children, that reportedly had been recovered during a search of the e-mail address booker!441 on both “You Tube” and “XTube.” The letter also contained the front cover of a bulletin from the Saint John Neumann and Good Shepherd churches that listed the e-mail address of Father Robert Timchack as bookerl441 @aol.com.

State Police received consent by Timchack to search a table top and laptop computer. During their investigation, police discovered that Timchack attempted to delete graphic files from his computer. Graphic files containing nude or partialy clothed males were found after a search of the computers. It was determined that the males dipicted were under the age of 18.

The files of the suspected males under age eighteen were forwarded to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. The center reported that the files contained child victims who have been identified by law enforcement. The files were from two series and they were identified as “Brad & Bry” and “Jesse.”

Timchack was arraigned before Magisterial District Judge Alan Cooper, of Shohola.


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