Letters To The Editor 8/31/2018

August 31, 2018

Trust endangered

Editor: I read the interview with Bishop Joseph Bambera in the Aug. 22 Times-Tribune.

I also viewed the bishop’s statement regarding the report from the grand jury investigation. According to the newspaper’s report of the interview, the bishop feels that the diocese is doing everything correctly, with policies and procedures in place. That is all well and good.

However, that brings me to the situation involving Jeffrey Paulish, a priest who was named in the report. Paulish, who was ordained in 1988, was placed in 15 parishes, served as chaplain at two nursing homes and had four leaves of absence through 2013. Under Bambera’s watch he reportedly was transferred from St. Elizabeth Church in Bear Creek to his third leave of absence. Then he was assigned to Holy Cross Church in Olyphant and left for a leave of absence. Finally, he was assigned to Prince of Peace Church in Old Forge. His priestly career ended when he was arrested on a sexual charge with a young man at Penn State in 2013.

So, from 2010 to 2013 under Bambera he reportedly had three parish assignments and two leaves of absence. Doesn’t that send a red flag to the bishop, his predecessor, former Bishop James Timlin, or the vicar of clergy? Although there apparently were not any formal complaints there is a lot of smoke behind his transfers.

If not for his arrest, would he would still be out in the parishes? I am sure that it was known by the chancery why he had leaves of absence and where he went. Is there transparency here? What else his being hidden and was everything given over to the attorney general? I trust in God but can I trust my diocese?




Egocentric bishops

Editor: I just finished watching “Spotlight,” a movie based on actual events, places and organizations.

It is a true story of how The Boston Globe investigated a child molestation cover-up by the Catholic Church in Boston. You could practically replace “Boston” with “Scranton” as you read about the cover-up by bishops and the hierarchy of the church. There are almost no words to describe how any Catholic, including myself, feels so disgusted about what the bishops and the church did to so many young men and woman. Shame on them all.

Back in the 1970s there was a movement to change the majority of Catholic high schools in the Scranton Diocese to name them after former bishops. There was no reason to change Dunmore Central Catholic High School to Bishop O’Hara High School. It was in Dunmore, it was central and it was Catholic, but the name was changed in 1973 because the bishop said so. No one at the time was really happy with the name change.

How egocentric the Scranton Catholic bishops had become.




Preserve pastime

Editor: Jeffrey Petrucci’s letter, (“Baseball’s full count,” July 29) was an interesting read and as an avid baseball fan, a concern of mine. Most of what he writes is true about the state of our national pastime. Finding solutions is difficult.

One major problem with baseball and all other major American sports is the time of night, especially on the East Coast, that most championship games are played.  How can young people continue with traditions when games end at midnight on a school night?

Baseball is part of the basic fabric of our country. Baseball has been used to interrogate suspected spies to see if they were from the United States. If this game dies, a part of our country’s soul dies.

Congress should pass legislation to declare National Pastime Day. Every year, game four of the World Series shall be played at 8:30 a.m. on the West Coast and 11:30 a.m. on the East Coast. Schools could participate in a day of baseball nostalgia, along with assembling children in gymnasiums and auditoriums or classrooms to watch the World Series.

Along with that, schools could provide foods and snacks associated with baseball and the big game. Major League Baseball could contribute by donating baseball souvenirs to school districts that are in financially strapped and lower income districts. Teams across the country would offer tickets to games as prizes for every school district to raffle off.

Hall of Famer and former Atlanta Braves’ pitcher John Smoltz has an excellent idea to break up the long season into two halves so there are actually two pennant races. As times change and children are obsessed with technology and hand-held devices, it would be healthy for our nation to rescue and preserve the game that means so much to our past and our future.




Call it what it is

Editor: Today much is made of political bias in the mainstream media and the accusations of false news are loudly raised whenever something is reported that some disagree with or simply don’t like and refuse to believe.

But I would point out a incredible effort made by the media when reporting the facts. Two cases illustrate my point.

The first is what is happened with Ohio State head football coach Urban Meyer. The media went out of their way to state that one of Meyer’s problems is that he flat-out lied. They have used practically every other term that means the same but avoided the actual word.

My second example concerns President Trump. Sadly, on an almost daily basis, the mainstream media bends over backwards to avoid calling what he says lies. I guess for some the pointing out of inconsistencies, questioning statements where easily available video and audio evidence to the contrary exists or simply questioning contradictions of previous statements, is evidence of bias.

When someone lies, whether it’s a football coach or a president, most of us know it. But there seems to be tremendous restraint from publicly saying that it is a lie. Maybe we should be a little less polite and cautious and bluntly call it what it is.



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