Msgr. J. Peter Crynes
Diocese of Scranton
Assigned as follows:
- 6/1967 – 9/1967: Camp St. Andrew (Tunkhannock, PA)
- 9/1967 – 9/1968: St. Patrick (White Haven, PA)
- 9/1968 – 9/1972: Holy Rosary (Scranton, PA)
- 9/1972 – 9/1975: St. Joseph’s Children’s and Maternity Hospital (Scranton, PA)
- 9/1975 – 6/1988: Our Lady of Fatima Center (Elmhurst, PA)
- 6/1988 – 7/1994: Church of Corpus Christi (Montdale, PA)
- 7/1994 – 5/2006: St. Therese (Shavertown, PA)
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Msgr. Peter Crynes:
According to media reports, in March 2006, the Diocese of Scranton received a letter from an attorney representing a woman who said she was sexually abused by Msgr. Peter Crynes from 1974 to 1977, beginning when she was 17. In her sophomore year of college, she told him that she did not want to have any more contact with him. He told her that she was not allowed to resist him, reportedly telling her that he would continue to do what he wanted to do to her even after she was married someday.
When the Diocese of Scranton investigated, they learned of a second woman abused by Crynes. At 15 years old, she had anorexia and her parents made her see Crynes for counseling. As a 17 year old, she became rebellious and her parents called Crynes for help. He brought her to Fatima Center for evaluation. Over the course of her stay there, Crynes came into her room and molested her on multiple occasions. When confronted with the allegations in 2006, Crynes admitted to abusing both girls, calling his actions “loving paternal affection.”
A third woman also came forward during the investigation, but the details of her allegations were not provided by the grand jury. Instead, it focused on the fact that the woman first came to the Diocese of Scranton in 2002. When she asked why nothing was done until 2006, the priest to whom she gave her report – who was also a Chancery official – said he assumed she was telling him as her confessor, not as an official of the Diocese. He stressed to her in 2006 that he had always believed what she told him, but never felt compelled to do anything about it.
Crynes voluntarily resigned from ministry in 2006, several months after the first letter from a lawyer.
On June 13, 2006, an adult female was interviewed by the Diocese. Throughout the course of her senior year, she and other friends attended events on a monthly basis that were sponsored by the Diocese. Crynes was at these events. She reported that the abuse involved hugging and kissing and, on one of those occasions, he put his tongue in her mouth. She relayed that there was one occasion during the Sacrament of Confession where Father Crynes hugged her and told her that God loved her very much. He stated that he loved her and she was very special to God and very special to him. He then put his mouth on her mouth with his tongue going in and out of her mouth like a snake. He pulled her close to him and she could feel he had an erection. He continued to kiss her and was moaning during it.
On January 15, 2016, a law firm notified the Diocese that they represented a 59 -year -old woman who reported that she was repeatedly sexually molested by Crynes from approximately 1972 to 1973 when she was 16 to 17 years of age. She met him through an encounter program sponsored by the Diocese.
In total, at least three women have come forward to report abuse by Crynes since 2006. One said she confronted Crynes in 2002 and asked for an apology. He admitted to abusing her and apologized, according to what she told the Diocese of Scranton later.
Crynes is still alive and is believed to be residing in the West Pittston, Pennsylvania, area. He has no faculties to minister but remains a priest.
In 2018, his name was included on the PA Grand Jury Report.
Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Scranton. If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Scranton may have legal options, but filing deadlines will apply so do not delay in reaching out to us. Our lawyers have decades of experience representing survivors of clergy sexual abuse in Pennsylvania and nationwide. We can help.