Catholic Priest

Joseph W. Bucolo

Diocese: Diocese of Scranton

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

On January 4, 1971, Bishop J. Carroll McCormick was notified that the parents of a 10- year-old boy had reported that during the previous summer, Father Joseph Bucolo took their son on a two day vacation to the New Jersey shore area.  They advised that during this trip, Bucolo committed acts with their son that were “unbecoming a catholic priest.”  It was recommended that Bucolo be transferred immediately to another parish within the Diocese of Scranton. It was also recommended that Bucolo see his personal physician.

McCormick memorialized the following on the memorandum:

“Father Bucolo called to see me this afternoon at my direction.  He readily admitted the charge, insisting that once and once only did he commit an immoral act with the individual mentioned above – while on vacation last summer. He stated he had never before or since become involved in that way and said he was very sorry.  He claimed that it was in a moment of weakness it had occurred.”

Bucolo agreed to go to St. John Vianney to see a psychiatrist. He was further advised that he would be transferred from St. Lucy.

Bucolo was placed under Charter restrictions in June, 2002 due to his admissions to abusing the 10-year-old boy.

On September 1, 2010, a 64-year-old male reported to the Diocese that he was sexually abused by Bucolo when he was an eight-year-old altar boy.  On September 7, 2010, the victim met with the Victim Assistance Coordinator and agreed to meet with Bucolo face to face.  On September 8, 2010, the Diocese notified the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office of this allegation.  On September 20, 2010, the victim attended a meeting where he confronted Bucolo. Bucolo told the victim that he did wrong and asked for forgiveness.  On December 9, 2010, the victim and Bucolo entered into a settlement agreement and release of all claims for the agreed upon amount of $20,000.00.

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.