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11 clergy in Harrisburg Diocese report had Lebanon County ties

Written by Daniel Walmer/The Lebanon Daily News | Aug 3, 2018 4:10 AM
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Rev. Francis J. Hudak Submitted

(Lebanon) -- The Diocese of Harrisburg released a long-anticipated list of clergy members accused of sexual crimes on Wednesday, and at least 11 have connections to Lebanon County.

One was principal of Lebanon Catholic High School for a decade. Five served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon, one pastored Holy Spirit Church in Palmyra, and one served as a deacon at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Annville. At least two face accusations stemming from activity that occurred in Lebanon County.

Bishop Ronald W. Gainer wrote that he hopes the list will "salve some of these historic wounds with the healing touch of transparency." However, one survivor's attorney told the York Daily Record that it is too late for the church to get credit for transparency.

Gainer emphasized that the list is based on allegations, not proof of guilt.

Information about church officials with a connection to Lebanon County, listed below, was gathered from either information released by the diocese or a recent PennLive report, unless otherwise noted.

Philip DeChico: Father DeChico, who died in 2006, was accused after his death of sexual abuse of a child by a survivor. He served as principal at Lebanon Catholic High School from 1986 to 1996.

Joseph Hager: Monsignor Hager, who died in 1992, was accused after his death of sexual abuse of a child by a survivor. He was pastor for 36 years at Ss. Cyril and Methodius Catholic Church in Lebanon, ending in 1976, according to his obituary.

John Bostwick III: Father Bostwick, still living, most recently served in the Archdiocese of Richmond and was twice accused of sexual abuse of a child. He assisted at various times at three parishes, including Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon, from the late 1970s to 1992. He was placed on administrative leave in 1996.

William Haviland: Father Haviland, who died in 2017, was accused of sexual abuse of a child. He also served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon.

Ibarra Mercado: Father Mercado worked for the Archdiocese of the Military and was accused of kissing a child while on the grounds of the Lebanon VA Hospital. It is not known whether Mercado is alive.

Thomas Kujovsky: Monsignor Kujovsky, who was born in Lebanon and died in 2015, faced two allegations related to child pornography. The diocese first received an allegation that an image of a nude altar boy was found in his room. In the second allegation, a book of animated pornography was found in his room that appeared to depict child sex abuse. The animated book was turned over to the district attorney, who concluded it was not criminal.

James Shaughnessy: Father Shaughnessy, who died in 1989, faced accusations while serving in the Archdiocese of Boston but did not face any allegations while in the Diocese of Harrisburg. He served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary from 1937-1941 and St. Joan of Arc in Hershey from 1944-1945, according to BishopAccountability.org.

Thomas Ronald Haney: Father Haney, who died in 2012, was accused of inappropriate touching and comments toward a child while he was alive. He was accused after his death of sexual abuse of a child by a survivor. He pastored Holy Spirit Church in Palmyra from 1976 to 1981.

George Koychick: Koychick, a priest who is no longer living, faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse of children while alive. According to news articles found by BishopAccountability.org, Koychick served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon.

Koychick faced "credible allegations" of sexual abuse when he was already retired in 2003, according to a 2016 York Daily Record report. The abuse allegedly occurred in the 1970s. He was then forbidden to serve any function as a priest and law enforcement was notified.

David Luck: Luck, a priest who is no longer living, was twice accused while he was alive of sexual abuse of children. He was a deacon at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Annville in the summer of 1986 and the spring of 1987, according to a 2016 York Daily Record report. The abuse allegedly occurred in October 1986. Luck was removed from ministry after the allegations surfaced in 1988.

Guy Marsico: Marsico, a priest who died in 2010, faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse of children. He served at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Church in Lebanon from 1974-1975 and from 1977-1978, and at St. Gregory the Great Parish in Lebanon County from 1986-1994, according to a 2016 York Daily Record report. The abuse allegedly took place beginning in 1981 and was reported to the diocese in 1994. He has been removed from ministry.

This article is part of a content-sharing partnership between WITF and the Lebanon Daily News.

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