Catholic Priest

Donald “Tim” Hackman

Diocese: Diocese of Harrisburg

From Report I of the 40th Statewide Investigating Grand Jury for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania:

The Diocese of Harrisburg’s restricted file for Deacon Donald “Tim” Hackman contained a resignation letter dated January 22, 1999, and a Decree dated February 3, 1999. Hackman had mailed child pornography to an undercover law enforcement officer. The federal government charged him with crimes. Bishop Dattilo issued a Decree, which noted Hackman’s “sincere and credible display of remorse” and he was forbidden to exercise functions of any ecclesiastical office.  Documents in the restricted file also showed the Diocese offered and followed through with counseling for Hackman.

The church asked the parishioners to pray for Hackman and his family during a difficult and trying time.  The allegations against Hackman were reported in a newspaper in 2001 when Hackman pled guilty to the federal charges described above.  Parishioners complained to the Diocese and the parish after they read the newspaper article.  The Diocese had not notified the parishioners of the real reason for Hackman’s departure.

The Diocese wrote, “civil authorities saw no reason to make the arrest public, which they would have done if they felt that it was necessary to protect children or to gain testimony from others.”   This was the Diocese’s justification for not notifying the parishioners of the reason for Hackman’s resignation.

Additional information regarding the widespread sexual abuse of children within the Catholic Dioceses of Pennsylvania and the systemic cover up by senior church officials is compiled in the Pennsylvania Diocese Victim’s Report published by the Pennsylvania Attorney General following a two-year grand jury investigation.  A complete copy of the Report is available on the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s website.