A Catholic priest who allegedly raped a young teen and arranged to abort her unborn baby is still being paid by his diocese, a disturbing new report revealed.
Pennsylvania priest Thomas D. Skotek’s alleged abuse and cover up by aborting an innocent unborn baby has shocked Catholics and other pro-lifers across the nation. The Catholic Church teaches that such behavior is abhorrent, and human lives are valuable from the moment of conception to natural death.
The Standard Speaker reports Skotek was permanently removed from the ministry in 2002; however, he has continued to receive a monthly stipend from the Diocese of Scranton. It current is $1,237.50, according to the report.
He was one of dozens of priests named in a grand jury report last week that exposed sexual abuse in Catholic dioceses across Pennsylvania.
Here’s more from the report:
Abortion is a crime under canon law. … Despite that fact, the Most Rev. James Timlin, then bishop, never referred Skotek to the Vatican to seek his permanent dispensation from the ministry, known as laicization or defrocking, the diocese said.
Under canon law, any priest who is removed from the ministry, but not laicized, is eligible to receive a “minimum sustenance” payment to meet their basic needs, even if they were removed for sexual abuse or other serious misconduct.
Skotek allegedly abused the young teen in the 1980s while serving at St. Casimir parish in Freeland, the Times Leader reports. According to the grand jury, he began abusing the teen when she was 13 and continued for about five years.
At one point when the teen became pregnant, Skotek helped her arrange to abort the unborn baby — a second victim in the abuse, the report states.
Skotek never faced criminal charges, but the diocese paid a $75,000 settlement to the victim in 1989, according to the report.
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In an interview with the Times Leader on Thursday, Skotek, now 80, apologized for his actions.
“I’m very sorry that I hurt these victims,” he said. “And I’m sorry that I hurt my brother priests. … I tried my best in the last many years to make up for the mistake I made.”
Here’s more from the report:
Skotek did not comment and stared blankly when asked about how Catholics might have trouble equating the church’s staunch anti-abortion stance with the abortion he “aided the girl in obtaining,” according to the grand jury report.
Skotek continued to serve as a priest for almost two decades after the abortion.
The report has shocked and horrified Catholics, who strongly believe that every human life deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. The church has been one of the strongest advocates for human life across the globe, with its leaders and followers fighting daily to protect unborn babies from abortion and those with disabilities and the elderly from abuse and discrimination.