PA- Ex-Scranton priest at center of new firestorm

For immediate release: Thursday, Sept. 25, 2014

Statement by David Clohessy of St. Louis, Director of SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests (314 566 9790,

A former Scranton priest is making international headlines today as Pope Francis has ousted the bishop who welcomed the priest to Paraguay.

For almost four years, Scranton Bishop Joseph Bambera did little or nothing about Fr. Carlos Urrutigoity, even though Fr. Carlos had been accused of sexual misdeeds in Argentina and Minnesota, and was called

“dangerous to youths” by another Catholic official.   

Only after we repeatedly prodded Bambera to act did he finally at least promise to write the Vatican about Fr. Carlos. (He never produced that letter; however, so we can't be sure he actually sent it.)

Bambera still refuses to take the most important step, and the one that should be most natural for a purported shepherd: to aggressively seek out – using parish bulletins, diocesan websites and pulpit announcements – anyone else who may have seen, suspected or suffered abuse by Fr. Carlos.

We again beg Bambera to take real steps to safeguard the vulnerable, heal the wounded, and help law enforcement. We beg Bambera to leave his comfortable office, rebuff his timid lawyers, overrule his public relations staff, and physically go to a parish this Sunday – any Scranton area parish – look his flock in the eyes and say “If you have any information or suspicions whatsoever about Fr. Carlos, I implore you to call police. And to come forward, get help and start healing.”

Here are two statements by SNAP about this today:

Here are two statements by SNAP about this, months ago, that specifically address Scranton's bishop:



Here are two statements by Bishop Bambera:

–- 3/28/14

–- 3/ /14

(SNAP, the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, is the world’s oldest and largest support group for clergy abuse victims. We’ve been around for 25 years and have more than 18,000 members. Despite the word “priest” in our title, we have members who were molested by religious figures of all denominations, including nuns, rabbis, bishops, and Protestant ministers. Our website is

Contact - David Clohessy (314-566-9790 cell,, Barbara Dorris (314-503-0003 cell,


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