State Investigators Raid Scranton School District Offices

Grand Jury Report Claims Three Priests Committed Sexual Abuse Against Children at Same Church in Schuylkill County

SCHUYLKILL HAVEN, Pa. -- We are learning more about the priests named in that explosive grand jury report who are accused of committing sexual abuse against children.

According to the report, three of the accused priests served at one parish in Schuylkill County.

Parishioners of St. Ambrose Parish in Schuylkill Haven settled into the church for an evening Mass on Wednesday, a Holy Day of Obligation for the Feast of the Assumption.

This service comes just a day after that scathing grand jury report detailed decades of child sex abuse by more than 300 priests in six dioceses, including here in the Diocese of Allentown.

“I feel bad for everyone involved. I feel bad for the poor people that have suffered from the abuse, the Church as a whole is now suffering,” said Heather Smalley.

The report lists that three priests at St. Ambrose committed sex crimes while assigned there.

Father Joseph Galko was accused of having sexual contact with an 18-year-old male while in the church's rectory in 1984.

Father Stephen Shigo is accused of sexually abusing an altar boy during a ride home from church in 1981.

And as recent as 2004, state police reportedly found “a tremendous amount of child porn” after searching the rooms of Father Ronald Yarrosh.

“Well, I knew there was one that I knew of. I know there was another one that was caught with promiscuous equipment and he was defrocked,” said Frederick Dasch.

The report lists three other priests who were accused of committing sex acts who were assigned to St. Ambrose, but those incidents reportedly happened at other parishes.

One of those priests, Father Edward Ganster, resigned from the clergy but asked the diocese for a letter of recommendation for his next job at Disney World. The diocese complied.

Some parishioners think the report shows how much the church has improved with dealing with abuse.

“I think the church has done a lot to move forward from it and enacted policies and procedures to protect our children,” said Anne Bizup.

The report shows that the diocese sent two of the priests to a treatment facility after being made known of the accusations. It also showed the diocese paid for counseling for one of the victims for four years, starting in 2012.

8 comments

  • navybluesweatpants

    Jeez, Schuylkill County is filled with molesters, scammers, druggies, and roamers. I hope Trump sends SEDCO a grant to build a wall around it. Every day there’s another embarrassing report for this county. The sky has been falling there since 1997. Awkward folks with odd habits. Shame.

    • skookamania

      Amen, honestly when your area’s culture is depended upon Penn state, youth sports and the catholic church and is drilled into your head from age 1-18. and this happens; your like Where the F did I grow up? Then you see these creepers roaming the streets in these small towns and weird people responding to fires. it makes you shake your head.

      • sweetcheeks4snugpants

        All of these local heroes on borough council, sports association presidents, teachers, county “leaders” should be ashamed of themselves for constantly looking the other way. I guess they never leave the county so its all normal to them or whatever. Something needs to be done in that county. Fast. Sad sad place.

  • lickerblisters

    As I’ve said before, Catholicism needs to be outlawed! Enough is enough. Catholicism is not a religion, it is a front to molest children. NOT ONE RESPONSE YET ON THIS REPORT FROM THE FAKE POPE FRANCIS!

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