Catholic Priest

Martin J. Fleming

Diocese: Diocese of Scranton

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

On April 14, 2006, the Diocese of Venice, Florida notified the Diocese of Scranton that a female victim had reported that she was sexually abused by Father Martin F. Fleming in 1940 when she was six-years-old. The victim reported that she underwent counseling over the years.

On June 30, 2006, the victim met with Bishop Dougherty and other members of the Diocese.  She noted that she was in heart failure and “wants to put all of her ducks in a row.” She stated that she desired to be counted as a victim of a priest from the Diocese of Scranton. She advised that this deepest secret came back again and again to trouble her spirit and cause her emotional distress.

Dougherty called the abuse an abomination, expressing his deep sorrow for the wounding of her child self.  The victim was strongly encouraged to consult with a woman therapist or trusted female friend.

On May 6, 2016, the Diocese sent a certified letter to each of the District Attorney’s Offices within the Diocese.  The letter included a list that contained the names of all priests against whom complaints of sexual abuse of minors had been made.  Fleming was included on that list.

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.