Pope Francis: Remove Bishop Bambera Now

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Three years ago Pope Francis remarked in Pennsylvania that “I pledge to you that we will follow the path of truth wherever it may lead. Clergy and bishops will be held accountable when they abuse or fail to protect children.”

Three weekends ago the Vatican reiterated that “Both abuse and its cover-up can no longer be tolerated and a different treatment for Bishops who have committed or covered up abuse…is no longer acceptable.”

The implications for Bishop of Scranton Joseph C. Bambera are clear: he must resign immediately or Pope Francis should order his laicization post-haste.

While vicar for clergy in 1995, Bishop Bambera failed to notify civil authorities upon learning that Father Robert J. Gibson was assigned to a new parish after raping children in an old parish. Rapist Gibson subsequently groomed a young boy for sexual abuse. Similarly, in November 1996 Bambera didn’t notify authorities about Father Albert M. Libertore Jr.’s predatory grooming. Libertore later sexually assaulted an altar boy from 1999-2004 (PA Grand Jury Report pp. 841-842; 852-853).

It’s been said that “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." When asked about the evil deeds he never reported, Bambera told the AP "Could I have done things better? Do I wish that there were things that were different in those days? Yeah, I do, I do."

#MeToo. But as an educator at a Catholic university and father of two young children in CCD, I’ve lost faith in Bambera’s ability to meet his most sacred obligation, not as clergy but as human: to protect our most vulnerable from our most horrible.  

"I worked for Bishop Timlin and the decisions were his to make, they weren't mine."

Bambera now faces a decision that only he can make. To help area Catholics heal without the specter of child rape hovering over our diocese, Bambera can decide to resign. Now
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To help him make the right decision I'd love to respectfully gift His Excellency a token of my appreciation in the form of a print-out of this petition and its signatures. Currently at 391, I'd like 496 more so that the number of people calling for his resignation matches the number of pages in the PA Grandy Jury Report: 887.  Let's do this! 

Resources

I. Local television segment on why I’m standing up for children forced to their knees:

II. Local paper’s article As Bambera Looked on, Abusive 'Father Ned' Got New Assignment:

III. The Pennsylvania Grand Jury’s Report on 301 predator priests:



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