Podcast Tackles Church Issues

May 4, 2019

LEHMAN TWP. — Paul and Kristen Ciaccia remember the news that sparked their anger. In 2013, they learned their sons had served as altar boys with a priest who had just been arrested on charges that he had oral sex with a minor. “That was the first ‘What?’ moment. My kids were with this priest for a couple years. And I thought, ‘Thank God it didn’t happen to any of my kids,’ but as that thought went through my head, I thought, ‘Wait a minute, what about these other kids this happened to? Somebody’s got to do something,’  ” Paul Ciaccia said. “The only way I could think of to make a change, to correct things in the Church, was to talk about it in public.” Another moment came with the August 2018 release of the attorney general’s grand jury report into sexual abuse of children in six Pennsylvania Roman Catholic dioceses. They followed the Catholic Church’s response to sexual abuse scandals that came to light in 2002, but the issue was suddenly back in the news. The couple decided to take their complaints to a public forum. Earlier this year, they started a podcast. They named it “The Angry Catholic.” The Ciaccias have an open letter to Joseph Bambera, bishop of the Diocese of Scranton, on their website, www.theangrycatholic.com. They have not been satisfied with the public responses from the diocese or from a letter Bambera wrote in response to their questions regarding specific allegations from the grand jury report and how diocese officials responded. “You’re getting canned PR statements. We call it ‘Bishop-speak’ now,” said Kristen Ciaccia. In his letter, Bambera pointed out that he has repeatedly, publicly acknowledged the diocese’s failures in the past, but also said that the organization has continuously improved on the issue in the last 25 years. “The Diocese and I remain committed to learning from the past and in creating a better future,” he wrote. Contact the writer: bwellock@citizensvoice.com; 570-821-2051; @CVBillW on Twitter LEARN MORE To listen, visit www.the angrycatholic.com and look for “The radio show.”