The facade of St. Peter's Cathedral in Pennsylvania

Philip Altavilla, formerly of St. Peters Cathedral in Scranton, Pennsylvania is charged with sexual abuse of a minor.

Roman Catholic Priest Philip Altavilla was arrested & arraigned last night on charges he had sex with a girl in 1998 after she served midnight Christmas mass with him at Saint Peters Cathedral in Scranton, which is the flagship church of the Diocese of Scranton. Pennsylvania authorities have charged Priest Philip Altavilla with corruption of minors & indecent assault charges. He was released on $75,000 bail. In my opinion, he should have been held without bail.

Officials from the Diocese have immediately removed the Priest from the Cathedral where he was assigned & suspended him.

Bishop’s Response

Diocese of Scranton Bishop Bambera said:

I am both angry and demoralized to think that, yet again, a priest has been involved in such inappropriate, immoral and illegal behavior. It is particularly distressing that the pastor of our Cathedral Parish, who is known to countless numbers of the faithful and has served in so many positions of trust and responsibility in the Diocese of Scranton has betrayed that trust in such a manner.

The Bishop then requested that the faithful in the Diocese join him in praying for the alleged victim and all who were impacted by sexual abuse.

Photo by Christopher Seliga released under a Creative Commons Share Alike license.