Now I am even angrier. Ex-bishop Timlim, documented in the PA AG report as sending a CONDOLENCE letter to the PRIEST WHO RAPED the teenage girl and procured an abortion for her showed up at the Bishop’s Conference without a care in the world. The current bishop of Scranton asked him NOT TO GO, but said he couldn’t do anything about it. Apparently the rest of the bishops couldn’t either.
Bishop McKnight from Missouri complained.
The Diocese of Scranton says Bishop Emeritus James Timlin will no longer represent the diocese at public events.
From the AG report: 10/9/1986
Reverend Thomas D. Skotek
Saint Stanislaus' Rectory
652 Carson Street
Hazleton, Pennsylvania 10201
Dear Father Skotek,
It is with sadness and deep .regret that I accept your resignation as Pastor of Saint ...
This is a very difficult time in your life, and I realize how upset you are. I too share your grief. How I wish it were not necessary to take this step. With the help of God, who never abandons us and who is always near when we need him, this too will pass away, and all will be able to pick up and go on living. Please be assured that I am most willing to do whatever I can to help
Sincerely yours In Christ,
Most Reverend James C. Timlin, D.D.
Bishop of Scranton
Father Thomas D. Skotek was ordained on June 8, 1963 in the Diocese of Scranton. Skotek
sexually assaulted a minor female while serving as pastor of St. Casimir in Freeland between
January, 1980 and March, 1985. The female became pregnant and Skotek aided the girl in
obtaining an abortion. Diocesan records obtained by the Grand Jury showed that Bishop James C.
Timlin was fully aware of the conduct by October, 1986. Timlin accepted Skotek's resignation
from St. Stanislaus on October 9, 1986, and dispatched Skotek to St. Luke's Institute in Suitland,
Maryland for an evaluation. In January, 1987, Skotek was reassigned to ministry at St. Aloysius,
in Wilkes -Bane.
On January 20, 1989, Timlin sent a letter to Rome and reported that:
a priest in the diocese has been rendered irregular as a result of having assisted in
the procurement of a completed abortion . . . Although I cannot absolutely give
assurance that this priest's criminal action will never become public, I do not
foresee that such would likely be the case. This priest is currently residing in a
parish quite far from the town where the crime was committed. He is awaiting a
response to his request for a dispensation."
Timlin closed his letter with his "sincere hope" that he would receive a favorable response since
such a response would be to the "spiritual benefit" of the priest involved as well as to the benefit
of the "people of this diocese who heed the gifts he shares in priestly ministry." Timlin noted that
he was convinced of Skotek's sincere repentance and permitted Skotek to continue in ministry.
The Grand Jury noted that the focus of Timlin's letter seemed to exclusively address the
procurement of the abortion with little concern that Skotek had impregnated a child. In 1988,
Diocesan records indicated that the victim contacted the church and indicated that she was
struggling with her faith.
On December 13, 1989, the victim and her parents entered into an agreement with the
Diocese and received a payment of $75,000. In exchange, the Diocese secured a confidentiality
agreement and liability waiver for the Diocese and Skotek. The agreement prohibited the victim
and her family from disclosing what had occurred, and released the Diocese from any
responsibility, liability, or damages. The agreement stated, in part,
It is expressly understood and agreed that this release and settlement is intended to
cover and does cover not only known injuries, losses and damages, but any further
injuries, losses and damages which arise from or are related to the occurrences
arising from the alleged sexual conduct of Reverend Thomas Skotek.
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