Catholic Priest

John M. Duggan

Diocese: Diocese of Scranton

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

Father John M. Duggan was assigned to the Jesuit community in Scranton in the 1970s. In the late 1980s, he was approved by the Diocese of Scranton to assist pastors in the area. Then, in 1988, Bishop James C. Timlin appointed Duggan to be the Assistant Pastor at St. Paul.

In 1993, Duggan was sent for a psychological evaluation and admitted to sexually abusing young children in his early priesthood. He denied that any of the abuse occurred within the Diocese.  Upon his release, Timlin reinstated Duggan.  However, Duggan was restricted to supervised ministry and was required to meet regularly with his aftercare counseling team.

On December 11, 1996, an adult male reported to Timlin that he was sexually abused by Duggan in the 1970s when he was a teenager engaged in spiritual counseling at the Jesuit house in Scranton.  Timlin thereafter imposed a ban on Duggan’s parish work and restricted him to convent and prison ministry.

In 1999, the same male 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 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.

The victim reported his sexual abuse to the Lackawanna County District Attorney’s Office but the statute of limitations had expired.  Paperwork was located wherein it indicated that the Jesuit Community provided free tuition to the victim’s children and transferred Duggan from the Jesuit Community in Scranton.

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.