Msgr. Joseph P. Kelly – Diocese of Scranton

| Jan 6, 2021 | Abuser Profiles, Catholic Church

Msgr. Joseph Kelly

Diocese of Scranton

Ordained: 1966

Assignment History:

  • 1967:  Ascension Church, Williamsport, PA
  • 1968-1969: St. Thomas Aquinas Church, Archbald, PA
  • 1970-1975: College Seminary of St. Pius X, Dalton, PA
  • 1974-1978: “Boy Scouts Director”
  • 1974-1978: “N.C.C.M. Director”
  • 1975-1979: “Procuratores et Advocati”
  • 1975-1978: “N.C.C.W. Director”
  • 1975-1980: “Senate of Priests”
  • 1975-1978: “Holy Name Society”
  • 1976-1980: “St. Michael’s School for Boys,” Hoban Heights, PA
  • 1977-1980: College Seminary of St. Pius X, Dalton, PA
  • 1981-1985: St. Catherine of Siena Church, Moscow, PA
  • 1984-1985: “Pro-Synodal Judges”
  • 1986: Not indexed
  • 1987-1988: St. Stanislaus Church, Scranton, PA
  • 1988-1998: Holy Rosary Church, Scranton, PA
  • 1991-1998: Camp St. Andrew, Tunkhannock, PA
  • 1999: Not indexed
  • 2000-2006: Camp St. Andrew, Tunkhannock, PA
  • 2001-2005: Nativity of Our Lord Church, Scranton, PA
  • 2006: Catholic Social Services
  • 2006: St. Nicholas Church, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Msgr. Joseph Kelly:

Msgr. Joseph Kelly was ordained a priest in 1966, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Scranton. According to media reports, two years after the sweeping 2018 PA Grand Jury Report on “widespread sexual abuse” throughout the commonwealth’s Catholic churches, the Diocese of Scranton is continuing to add names to its list of “credibly accused.” The only priest still living is Monsignor Joseph Kelly. Kelly taught for 25 years in diocesan schools in PA. He took a sabbatical in 1999. After his retirement in 2006, he continued volunteering at St. Francis of Asissi kitchen.

He is named publicly by the Diocese of Scranton in 2020 as accused, with seven allegations against him, four of them deemed credible. According to media reports, in 1994, he was named in a lawsuit that alleged he and other priests were part of a “sex ring” in the 1970s and 1980s at St. Gregory’s in Magnolia, St. Michael’s in Gibbstown, and St. Joseph’s in Camden.

Six men have said in lawsuits or media interviews that Kelly molested them, some when they were as young as 10. Two sets of brothers say the priest masturbated them and had oral sex with them when they were minors. Monsignor Kelly was placed on administrative leave.

According to a list maintained by Bishop, Monsignor Kelly was accused of sexually abusing a male minor child on at least eight occasions in approximately 1978 when the boy was approximately 13 years old. The sexual abuse took place at St. Michael’s School for Boys in Hoban Heights, Pennsylvania, where the boy lived at the time. Monsignor Kelly performed oral sex on the boy and masturbated himself in front of the child.

The claim settled in 2020 in the mid-five figures.

In January 2021, Monsignor Joseph Kelly was accused again in a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Scranton. Kelly allegedly sexually abused another student at St. Michael’s School for Boys in 1975.  The victim claimed Kelly repeatedly forced him to engage in various sexual acts starting when he was a 15-year-old student at the Falls Township facility.

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.

Contact us at 888-283-9922 or [email protected] to discuss your options today.