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A notoriously scandal-ridden diocese in Pennsylvania is once again being accused of failing in its handling of abuse claims. In tonight's In-Depth Report, Church Militant's Nick Wylie discusses the latest predator priest to be enabled in Scranton.
Paul Ciaccia, cohost, The Angry Catholic: "We've had multiple cases of misconduct, where it turned out that our bishop knew about their bad behavior well before they were either caught by the police, nabbed by a predator catcher and things of that sort."
Paul and Kris Ciaccia, hosts of the Angry Catholic and residents of the diocese of Scranton, wrote a letter to their bishop on July 11 with questions about a sex abuse case against Msgr. Michael Delaney and still haven't received a reply.
Msgr. Michael Delaney, diocese of Scranton, Pa.: "We've come together to experience that joy, to be filled with this joy, so that we will be hope and light and joy for God's people."
Msgr. Michael Delaney is on administrative leave with no public faculties after being accused of sexual assault against a vulnerable adult in 2002. The diocese of Scranton released a statement on July 2 regarding Delaney's removal from ministry, after the accusations were originally received on March 26.
Bp. Joseph Bambera, diocese of Scranton, Pa.: "You have a right to be angry. I am angry too. While such behavior is unacceptable in any element of society, it is particularly abhorrent in the Church."
This is just the latest fiasco in the diocese of Scranton under gay-friendly Bp. Joseph Bambera.
Kris Ciaccia, cohost, The Angry Catholic: "Bp. Bambera has a comfort level with priests that grope, grab and, frankly, penetrate people. He has a comfort level with that behavior as long as the person is over the age of 18."
In fact, Bambera acknowledges the diocese — between 2007 and 2009 — received reports of Delaney allegedly engaging in inappropriate conduct with four other adults, which caused him to take a leave of absence in 2008–2009.
Kris Ciaccia: "What the bishop leaves out is that he went for treatment. Then he stayed at a rectory with Msgr. Bendik, essentially to be monitored and rehabbed."
Delaney was then put back into ministry and given increasingly more power and influence under Bambera.
Kris Ciaccia: "He was given a seminarian as this investigation was going on and as the bishop had met with this victim. And he also was serving on the presbyteral council as well as being the chairman of the presbyteral council."
Bishop Bambera's hesitancy to remove Delaney is especially troublesome when considering the circumstances of his latest assignment.
Kris Ciaccia: "He was the pastor of a parish, ironically, that is known to be very welcoming to families with people with disabilities. And yet, here he is now, accused of assaulting a disabled adult who is cognitively impaired."
Bp. Joseph Bambera: "I have maintained a zero-tolerance policy since I've been bishop. It's certainly one that was promoted by the bishops' charter that was promulgated in 2002, and that's been pretty much my mantra since I've been here."
Monsignor Delaney is another example of a priest with known issues being enabled by his bishop, but critics believe that's business as usual in Scranton.