A little over ten years ago I notified the Diocese of Scranton that I had been sexually assaulted by the Reverend Father Robert J. Gibson. That was my first misstep. I realized that the Diocese was in no way interested in the truth and continued to lie about the extent of the malignancy of pedophilia that was being neglected at the expense of innocent children of devout Catholic families. It is the Bishop’s job to avoid scandal after all.
For ten years I asked for the truth and was met with silence, disdain, and inaction on the part of the obdurate Bishop and chancery on Wyoming Avenue in the “Electric City.” Even in the wake of the damning Grand Jury Report released by Pennsylvania’s Attorney General, the focus of the current bishop of Scranton is not upon the vile allegations contained within the report but on the Annual Fund Drive that brings money into the Diocesan coffers. Yes, Bishop Bambera, your “priorities” are in order.
In the weeks that have passed since the release of the Grand Jury Report, I have received dozens of emails with links to articles about the lack of action on the part of the hierarchy of the Catholic Church with an emphasis on the current prelate of Scranton. Here is a sampling:
Diocese Priests Pay $3.7 Million+ to Victims of Sexual Assault (For the record, not a penny of the #3.7 million has found its way to my pocket.)
This last article had my immediate attention because the priest referred to as “Father Ned” was, in fact, Father Robert J. Gibson. Robert Gibson was my perpetrator. And now it comes out that Bishop Bambera, a canon lawyer in his own right, was the Vicar of Priests at the time that Bishop Timlin was deciding the fate of Father Gibson. Knowing full well what kind of a man “Father Ned” was, Bambera returned him to ministry at the order of Timlin. The concept of a “zero tolerance” policy within the Diocese of Scranton seems to be a little flexible.
It seems that Bishop Bambera knows almost as well as I what a monster Robert Gibson was. And yet he sent him back to a parish where he could once again prey on the innocent. And that is what he started to do once again. Well done, your Excellency.
I have often been asked what I want out of all this. I have long ago given up on the Diocese telling the truth. But right now, on the top of my list is my demands is for the tenth and current Bishop of Scranton, Joseph Charles Bambera, to submit his resignation to the Vatican and step down immediately.
I have more demands. But for now, Bambera, the man who should have done the right thing and kept Gibson from having access to children, has to go.
What has changed in ten years? Absolutely nothing.