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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

9/23/2013 (6 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Priest met boy on Craigslist, claims boy said he was 18.

A Catholic priest is facing jail time after allegedly having sex with a teenage boy in a car. Rev. W. Jeffery Paulish was caught in a car with a pantsless 15-year-old boy on a Pennsylvania college campus.

Jeffery W. Paulish was arrested and charged with having sex with the boy.

Jeffery W. Paulish was arrested and charged with having sex with the boy.

Article Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/23/2013 (6 months ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: Priest, jesuit, boy, craigslist, indecent, sex


PHILADELPHIA, PA (Catholic Online) - Rev. Jeffery W. Paulish was arrested and charged with one felony count of involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and one felony count of unlawful contact with a minor after police in Dunmore say they caught him with a 15-year-old boy in a car. The boy was not wearing any pants.

In addition to the two felonies, he was charged with three misdemeanor counts including indecent exposure, indecent contact, and corruption of a minor.

Paulish, who is 56, is also a Catholic priest. He is now being held in the Lackawana county jail.

Paulish said he was at the campus to work on his homily when he met the teen. The teen, he claimed, needed counseling for emotional distress, which he was providing. According to police, Paulish also said he verified the boy's age at least three times with the boy replying he was 18.

Paulish later admitted to police he met the boy on Craigslist.

Paulish has already been removed from his post at his parish and suspended. The diocese has asked anyone who may have been abused by Paulish to come forward now as the investigation continues.

Bishop Joseph Bambera of Scranton said in a statement, "I wish to acknowledge how unsettling this is to me personally and to countless others, that yet again a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior."

Tragically, clergy continue to embroil themselves and the Church in scandal by engaging in sexual immorality and child abuse. The Church has pledged aggressive reporting and handling of such cases when they come to attention.

The Church is also being proactive by improving screening methods and implementing policies that manage contact between clergy and children.

Despite this, not all behavior can be managed by the Church, as priests are still individuals and still sin. In this case, the sin is exceptionally serious and involves a child. Fortunately, Paulish has been caught and should serve as a warning others to seek treatment if they are inclined to any form of sexual deviance rather than to act on it. The Church and the public have had more than enough of such behavior and the Church does not deserve the harsh public judgment that still follows such incidents.

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