Catholic Priest

Neil McLaughlin

Ordained: 1959
Diocese: Diocese of Scranton

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

Father Neil McLaughlin was a Jesuit priest from the Maryland Province of the Society of Jesus.

The Province had a Jesuit Community within the Diocese of Scranton.  When Bishop Martino was installed as the Bishop of Scranton, he directed that a comprehensive review of all allegations of sexual misconduct involving clerics of the Diocese be conducted.   A concern about McLaughlin was discovered.

Jesuit priests are not governed by the Diocesan Bishop in the area where they are serving; instead, they are governed by their Provincial leader.  As a result of the Dallas Charter in 2002, the Society of Jesus notified the Diocese of Scranton of an allegation made against McLaughlin by his niece.  While in therapy, the niece had recovered a memory that in 1959, McLaughlin hugged her in a sexual manner at his ordination.

McLaughlin was sent for an evaluation and was diagnosed as a latent pedophile.

The Society recently sent McLaughlin for another evaluation and that the physician felt that there was an error in the first evaluation and that McLaughlin was not a threat to children.

On January 30, 2006, the Diocese received notification from the Society of Jesus that it was recommended that McLaughlin continue ministry but that it be restricted to ministry that did not involve children.

On January 11, 2007, McLaughlin was assigned to the Jesuit Provincial Community in Baltimore, MD.  McLaughlin was notified by the Diocese of Scranton that his faculties were withdrawn.

In December, 2008, an adult female reported to the Society of Jesus that Father McLaughlin touched her in a sexual and inappropriate manner in 1963, when she was 10 years old.  The allegation was reported to the local police department in Maryland.

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.