Catholic Priest

Raymond L. Deviney

Diocese: Diocese of Scranton

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

On October 8, 1994, an adult female informed Bishop James C. Timlin that she was sexually abused by Father Raymond L. Deviney when she was a teenager in high school. She stated that he repeatedly acted sexually inappropriately with her, placing his hand on her thigh and asking her if she trusted him as he moved his hand further up her leg.  She further reported that when she approached Deviney and confided in him after losing a baby and her husband, he took advantage of her and violated her. Timlin, in turn, sent her a letter dated January 6, 1995 wherein he apologized for Deviney’s actions. He informed her that he would address the matter with Deviney and deal with it appropriately. Timlin asked that she contact him so he could talk to her before he met with Deviney.

On June 17, 2001, the female wrote to Timlin, inquiring as to whether Deviney had ever received treatment for his alcoholism and abuse of women. She indicated that she was touched by his previous letter and telephone call and held onto the belief that the Bishop was a good and honest man of deep religious faith.  She told Timlin that she would be in the area on a certain date and provided contact information for where she could be reached.

On July 9, 2001, Timlin sent the female a letter apologizing for the delay in his response and for being unable to call her when she was in the Scranton area. He advised that he was not aware of any formal treatment that Deviney had received. Furthermore, he stated that he did not believe Deviney would ever admit that he had a problem with alcoholism and abuse of women. He advised that Deviney was approximately 67 years old and it was unlikely that he would ever see himself as a candidate for any kind of residential treatment. Timlin stated that he was sorry that she was still upset about whatever had occurred between her and Deviney and that he hoped that she would be able to put it all behind her.

On October 6, 2002, the female wrote a letter to Timlin, stressing that she had delayed writing it because she was appalled by his complete change in attitude.  She stated that she was quite angry and distraught that the seriousness of Deviney’s actions had been swept under the carpet.

On December 10, 2002, Timlin sent a letter to her wherein he apologized for giving her the impression that her complaint was somehow “swept under the carpet” or not taken seriously. He stated that he was finally able to talk to Deviney in person and reviewed her letter with him, along with her request that he be given some treatment. While Deviney did not admit to doing anything that was seriously wrong, he did agree to attend therapy.  Timlin stated that he hoped that this would be of some help to Deviney and would be a source of peace of mind for her.

On May 6, 2006, the Diocese sent a certified letter to each of the District Attorney’s Offices within the Diocese. The District Attorneys were notified by Bishop Joseph Bambera that in in an effort to further the Church’s ongoing commitment to transparency as it continues to address the sad reality of child sexual abuse, he was submitting for their information a confidential comprehensive list of all priests in the Diocese of Scranton against whom accusations of sexual abuse of children had been made.  While Deviney’s name was on the list, the incident involving the female was not reported.

The Diocesan file indicates that the allegation against Deviney was unsubstantiated.

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.