Original Letter to Bishop Bambera
MAY 03, 2019
March 20, 2019
Dear Bishop Bambera,
Since the recent scandal broke, your statements to date have not answered specific questions
regarding your involvement in the sex abuse scandal in the Diocese of Scranton.
One month after you became the Vicar of Clergy in 1995, Fr. Robert Gibson left a treatment
center and was assigned to St. Ignatius in Kingston, PA. You were involved in the investigation
of Fr. Gibson and did not report the abuse to authorities even though the protocol at the time
demanded you do so. Instead, you sent him to a parish where he finally left after he began
grooming another boy. The Diocese of Scranton has four complaints of sexual abuse regarding
Why didn’t you report Fr. Robert Gibson’s immoral and criminal behavior to the
authorities? Why was he sent to a parish after the diocesan investigation?
In November 1996 you were the Vicar of Clergy and supervised Fr. Al Liberatore. You wrote a
memo to Bishop Timlin expressing your concerns regarding Fr. Al Liberatore’s questionable
behavior with both a seminarian and the Director of Youth & Young Adult Retreats who was a
young man in his early 20s. At this time, Fr. Al Liberatore was the Director of Vocations for the
Diocese and was living at the St. Pius X Seminary.
After you wrote the memo to Bishop Timlin, were you concerned that Fr. Liberatore was
living with young men at the seminary? Why did you keep Fr. Liberatore in the position
of Vocations director, giving him access to young high school and college age men?
In February 1997 while you were the Formation Director and living at St. Pius X Seminary,
twenty male high school students were touring the seminary and through an open door, they
witnessed Fr. Liberatore giving a back massage to a seminarian.
In Spring 1997 while you were still the Vicar of Clergy and Formation Director at the seminary,
Fr. Liberatore was involved in an altercation with the Director of Youth & Young Adult Retreats.
This young man, the Director of Youth & Young Adult Retreats, later shared that he had been
sexually harassed by Fr. Liberatore. After the altercation that night, this young man woke up that
next morning in Fr. Liberatore’s room with Fr. Liberatore’s hand on the man’s genitals. You
never contacted or interviewed this young man. This young man who was in his early 20s was
serving as the Director of Youth for the diocese and was involved in the altercation.
You had already expressed concern about Fr. Liberatore’s behavior, so why didn’t you
speak to the young man? Had you heard about Fr. Liberatore’s sexual harassment of
After this altercation, Fr. Liberatore was then moved to St. Clare’s in Scranton, PA. Fr.
Liberatore went on to sexually abuse an altar boy between 1999 & 2004. He brought this boy to
New York City, consumed alcohol, and they spent the night in the City together.
Were you ignorant of Fr. Liberatore’s grooming behaviors and harassment?
After 1998 you moved into parish life. In 2003 Fr. Al Liberatore became a professor of theology
at the University of Scranton, and you joined the Board of Trustees for the University of
Scranton that same year.
Given your past knowledge of Fr. Liberatore’s prior “questionable behavior”, did you as a
board member at anytime raise concerns with the university? Was the University of
Scranton aware of Fr. Liberatore’s grooming behaviors and sexual harassment?
Fr. Jeffrey Paulish was reassigned fourteen times during his twenty-five years as a priest. Fr.
Paulish was granted four leaves of absence. Every assignment put him in direct contact with
children and altar servers. Fr. Paulish only stopped being a priest in the Diocese of Scranton
when he was found in a parked car with a minor engaging in oral sex in 2013.
Why was Fr. Paulish reassigned so many times and granted four leaves of absence?
Was he ever involved in inappropriate behavior with adults?
Each day you sit in authority over this diocese, and your decisions impact the safety and
spiritual life of our children. We are asking you to answer these specific questions.
Paul and Kristen