Fr. Mark Balczeniuk
Diocese of Scranton
Leave of Absence: 2010
Assigned as follows:
- 11/1983 – 9/1984: St. Thomas (Archbald, PA)
- 9/1984 – 9/1985: Sts. Peter and Paul (Plains, PA)
- 9/1985 – 7/1990: Holy Trinity (Swoyersville, PA)
- 7/1990 – 9/1997: Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
- 9/1997 – 7/2006: Our Lady Help of Christians (Dorrance, PA)
- 7/2006 – 7/2009: Sts. Peter and Paul (Hazelton, PA); Transfiguration (West Hazleton, PA)
- 7/2009 – 3/2010: Episcopal Vicar of the Eastern Pastoral Region of the Diocese of Scranton
- 3/2010: Leave of Absence
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Mark Balczeniuk:
In March 2010, Fr. Balczeniuk called the Diocese of Scranton chancery to make a self-report of misconduct. He told the Vicar for Priests, Fr. Richard Loch, that he spent the night at the home of a family he knew well (though it is not clear if they were parishioners of the Diocese of Scranton or not). According to the grand jury’s summary of the incident, while at the home, he kissed and hugged the family’s son, whom he estimated was in his 20s. Balczeniuk described the boy as having mental difficulties and being “a little slow.” Balczeniuk told Loch that he took it upon himself to report the incident because the father was very upset and planned to report it to the Diocese of Scranton himself. That same day, the father did contact the Diocese of Scranton. He stated that Balczeniuk had kissed his 18 year old stepson on the mouth, embraced him, and then rubbed the boy’s back under his shirt.
Balczeniuk was removed from ministry and sent for a psychological evaluation at Villa St. John Vianney, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests used by Pennsylvania bishops in similar cases for decades.
Though it is not entirely clear from the PA Grand Jury Report, Balczeniuk later told Loch that he touched the genitals of several underaged boys while he was working at Camp St. Andrew in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. He was still a seminarian, which would put the conduct in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
He was laicized by the Vatican in 2011.
Balczeniuk relocated to the Daytona Beach, Florida, where he worked as a bereavement counsel at a local hospice. He died in March 2018.
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