Cathedral rector removed following abuse allegation
Catholic World News - April 08, 2014
The rector of the cathedral in Scranton, Pennsylvania, has been removed from ministry following an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.
In 1998, Father Phillip Altavilla allegedly abused a 13-year-old girl as he was giving her a ride home from the Midnight Mass at which she had been an altar server. The Wilkes-Barre Times Leader reported that police listened in on a recent phone conversation between him and the victim in which he admitted giving alcohol to her and abusing her.
From 2011 to 2012, Father Altavilla served as diocesan vicar general.
“I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior,” said Bishop Joseph Bambera.
An appeal from our founder, Dr. Jeffrey Mirus:
Dear reader: If you found the information on this page helpful in your pursuit of a better Catholic life, please support our work with a donation. Your donation will help us reach seven million Truth-seeking readers worldwide this year. Thank you!
Our Fall Campaign
Progress toward our year-end goal ($168,671 to go):
All comments are moderated. To lighten our editing burden, only current donors are allowed to Sound Off. If you are a donor, log in to see the comment form; otherwise please support our work, and Sound Off!
Posted by: 1Jn416 -
Apr. 08, 2014 5:26 PM ET USA
Some observations I think are important. First, this incident predates the Dallas charter and should be taken as such. Second, that the victim was a female altar server lends some (just some) credence to the availability theory for the preponderance of male victims. Third, the secular press (indicated by the provided link) has positive sentiments of the diocesan handling of the case.