Fr. John Duggan – Diocese of Scranton

| Mar 31, 2019 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Father John Duggan

Diocese of Scranton (Jesuit)

Ordained: 1957

Removed from ministry: 2007

Died: 2014

Assigned as follows:

  • 1951 – 1954: Scranton Preparatory School (Scranton, PA)
  • 1959 – 1967: Scranton Preparatory School (Scranton, PA)
  • 1968 – 1970: Loyola Blakefield (Towson, MD)
  • 1970 – 1972: Jesuit Community of St. Isaac Jogues (Wernersville, PA)
  • 1972 – 1978: St. Agnes Hospital (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1978 – 1980: Jesuit Community, Old St. Joseph’s Church (Philadelphia, PA)
  • 1981 – 1983: Center for Spirituality (Jos, Nigeria)
  • 1983 – 1984: Our Lady of Lourdes Medical Center (Camden, NJ)
  • 1984 – 1988: Scranton Preparatory School (Scranton, PA)
  • 1988 – 1993: St. Paul’s Church (Scranton, PA)
  • 1994 – 1995: Manresa Retreat House (Pickering, Ontario, Canada)
  • 1995 – 2003: Scranton Jesuit Community (Scranton, PA)

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father John Duggan:

Father John Duggan was ordained a priest in 1957, who served in multiple dioceses / parishes including in the Diocese of Scranton. According to media reports, in 1993, Father John Duggan was sent for a psychological evaluation and admitted to sexually abusing young children in his early priesthood.  Presumably, this step was taken after an allegation was made by a victim. However, during his evaluation, Duggan denied that any of the abuse occurred within the Diocese of Scranton.

Upon his discharge from the evaluation, Bishop Timlin reinstated Duggan, but he was restricted to supervised ministry and was required to meet regularly with his aftercare counseling team.

In December 1996, an adult male reported that he was sexually abused by Duggan in the 1970s when he was a teenager going to Duggan for spiritual counseling at the Jesuit house in Scranton. The Bishop thereafter imposed a ban on Duggan’ s parish work and restricted him to convent and prison ministry.

In 1999, the same male victim reported that he believed Duggan was participating in unsupervised ministry. The Diocesan Review Board recommended to Timlin that the only ministries that would be open to Duggan were the celebration of mass and the administration of sacraments in correctional facilities, nursing homes, and convents.

In May 2002, the male contacted the Diocese of Scranton and requested assurances that Duggan posed no threat to young people. Timlin then suggested to the Maryland Provincial that it would not be a good idea for Duggan to return to Scranton. The Provincial notified Timlin that Duggan had been removed from the Jesuit Community in Scranton, however, per Official Catholic Directory he was at a Jesuit residence at the University of Scranton 1995-2005.

The victim himself eventually reported his sexual abuse to the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office (as the Diocese had not made such a report) but the statute of limitations had expired. According to some reports, the Jesuit Community provided free tuition to the victim’s children and transferred Duggan from the Jesuit Community in Scranton.

Duggan died in 2014.

In 2018, he was named publicly as accused in the PA Grand Jury Report. His name was also included on Diocese of Scranton list of clergy credibly accused of child sexual abuse.

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.

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