Priests Accused in Harrisburg Diocese Served in Our Area

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HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Three priests accused of child sex abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg served at the same church in Bloomsburg.

Some of the others on the list served at parishes and schools in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Montour counties.

The accused men who served at the same church in Bloomsburg served at the church at different times from the early 1960s to the mid-1990s.

Fr. James Beeman, Fr. John Suknaic, and Fr. Thomas Scala are accused of child sex abuse in a report released by the Diocese of Harrisburg.

The men all served at St. Columba in Bloomsburg over the last 60 years.

Karl Kupserschmid attended the church while Fr. Scala was a pastor at the church on Iron Street.

"I did not think he was the kind of man to do something like that," Kupserschmid said.

According to the diocese, Fr. Scala was appointed pastor of St. Columba in 1989 and served until 1994. He also served at a parish in Milton.

Two of the priests on the list served as principals at Our Lady of Lourdes in Shamokin. Fr. Philip Dechico and Fr. Daniel Mahoney have both passed away.

Quite a few of the priests on the list have died, and quite a few served at churches in our viewing area.

Here's what people had to say leaving the main church of the diocese, St. Patrick's Cathedral in Harrisburg.

"They've got to be out there. To me, getting the truth out there is always a good thing," said Barbara Dorsey of Harrisburg.

"We're all God's children. It's sad that this has happened, but it's not just the Catholic Church that has suffered these kinds of consequences. We're only human, and we all make mistakes. I just see it as a terrible crime against a child," said Ernest Martinez of Harrisburg.

The diocese launched a special webpage to address the abuse crisis.


  • jimbrony

    Yes Ernest, we’re all human and we make mistakes. But as they say on SVU, the most heinous crimes are of the sexual nature, and all the Catholic church did for years was cover it up and move the perverts around.

  • John W

    I went to a catholic school as a child and suspected this weird shit all along! Sick bastards! Religous scum! Lock the scum up!

  • John W

    Priests Can’t marry the opposite sex or sex of preference.. because of Religion.. lol lock the suck bastards up!

  • navybluesweatpants

    What about that priest named Ulincy in Frackville? Didn’t he literally have altar boys running out of his church? …town folk just looked the other way I guess. Wasn’t investigated till he got handzy somewhere else

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