Catholic Priest

Virgil B. Thetherow

Diocese: Diocese of Scranton

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

On July 1, 1998 Father Virgil B. Tetherow was a professed member of the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal in New York and known as Brother Gabriel Francis Tetherow.  He communicated with Bishop James C. Timlin about setting up a religious community within the Diocese of Scranton.  Timlin agreed and on February 1, 2001 the establishment of the Servants Minor of St. Francis was approved.

Timlin assisted Tetherow with his ordination at Our Lady of Guadalupe in Denton, Nebraska.  Upon his ordination, Tetherow was incardinated within the Diocese of Scranton. After his ordination, Tetherow was never given an assignment in the Diocese, but was allowed to reside within the Diocese.

In January 2005, it was brought to the attention of the Pocono Mountain Regional Police that child pornography was found on a computer at a rectory within the Diocese.  The police interviewed Tetherow and he admitted to downloading the child pornography.  Tetherow was arrested and removed from ministry on March 24, 2005. He pled guilty to criminal charges and received a probationary sentence.

Complaints began to come in from the Diocese of Harrisburg that Tetherow had opened a church in York County after his faculties had been removed.  Tetherow was thereafter dismissed from the clerical state by the Holy Father on January 23, 2015.

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.