Catholic priest from Pennsylvania charged with attempted sexual assault and other serious offenses involving minors
Fr. Gregory Loughney was arrested on October 22, 2021, on charges that he contacted and arranged to meet with what he thought was a 15 year old boy using the online dating app Tinder. The Catholic clergyman was arraigned the following day. While we are grateful that law enforcement conducted this sting and have charged Fr. Loughney, we are concerned that he may have also assaulted real children, and that there may even be victims in the parishes where he worked. We feel it is incumbent upon the Diocese of Scranton to announce this arrest in every place that Fr. Loughney was assigned either as a cleric or a seminarian, and to beg anyone who may have experienced, witnessed, or suspected abuse to contact law enforcement.
Parishioners of Most Holy Trinity Parish in Cresco were in shock to learn of the news yesterday following Sunday mass. However, we were not shocked. We hope the faithful at Most Holy Trinity will open their eyes to the ongoing scandal within the Catholic Church. Fr. Loughney is not the only supposedly celibate Catholic priest to have been recently accused of using an online dating app.
Each month we read, on average, two news reports about the arrest of Catholic clergy or staffers for sexual abuse or misconduct. This disturbing news from Pennsylvania shows us once again that the persistent claims from Church officials that the abuse scandal is a thing of the past is simply not true. It is very much a thing of the present.
We urge anyone who might have relevant information to call the Pocono Mountain Regional Police Department at (570) 895-2400, the Monroe County District Attorney’s Office at (570) 517- 3052, or any local law enforcement agency.
CONTACT: Mike McDonnell, SNAP Communications Manager, (267-261-0578, [email protected]) Zach Hiner, SNAP Executive Director (517-974-9009, [email protected]) Shaun Dougherty, SNAP Board President, (814-341-8386, [email protected])
(SNAP, the Survivors Network, has been providing support for victims of sexual abuse in institutional settings for 30 years. We have more than 25,000 survivors and supporters in our network. Our website is SNAPnetwork.org)