Fr. Thomas Shoback – Diocese of Scranton

Father Thomas Shoback – Diocese of Scranton

Fr. Thomas Shoback

Ordained: 1977

Inpatient evaluation: 2006

Leave of Absence: Nov. 2011

Arrested: May 2012

Convicted: April 2013

Resigned ministry: May 2013

Faculties removed: Nov. 2014

Assigned as follows:

  • 1977            St. Matthew (East Stroudsburg, PA)
  • 1977-1984        Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Plymouth, PA)
  • 1984            St. Joseph (Hazleton, PA)
  • 1984-1989        Sacred Heart (Plains, PA)
  • 1989-1997        St. Andrew and St. Mary (Blossburg, PA)
  • 1997-2002        Our Lady of Lourdes (Montoursville, PA)
  • 2002-2004        Holy Redeemer (Harding Falls, PA)
  • 2004-2006        St. Joseph (Hudson, PA)/Sacred Heart (Plains, PA)
  • 2006-2011        Sacred Heart of Mary (Jermyn, PA)

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Thomas Shoback:

In May 2006, the Diocese of Scranton received an allegation that Shoback molested an 11 year old altar boy.  Shoback denied the allegations. The victim provided the name of a second altar boy who was also a victim, but he denied any inappropriate behavior by the priest.  The matter was closed and Shoback was sent for a psychological evaluation, according to the grand jury report.

In November 2011, the second boy, who originally denied any abuse by Shoback, revealed that he was sexually abused by Shoback at the age of 11 as well.  Criminal charges were eventually filed for sexual contact occurring between 1991 and 1997. In 2013, Shoback was convicted by a jury and sentenced to 5 to 10 years in prison.

Shockingly, according to the grand jury report, Shoback remained a priest with faculties – albeit without assignment – for more than two years after his arrest.  This means that he could still present himself as a priest, hear confessions, and otherwise perform priestly duties.

Shoback is still behind bars.  He is 67 years old.

Shoback was eligible for parole in August 2018 but his application was denied due to the fact that he has refused to undergo sex offender treatment.  According to his trial attorney, Shoback has always denied the allegations and refuses to do the treatment because it would mean admitting to something he denies doing.

Shoback appears on the August 2018 list of credibly accused priests published by the Diocese of Scranton.  According to media reports, his case has been referred to the Vatican for involuntary laicization, but there is not likely to be a decision until after Shoback’s release from prison.

If he serves his maximum sentence, Shoback is set to be released in 2023.

Shoback’s brother, Edward Shoback, is also a credibly accused priest of the Diocese of Scranton.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims and survivors of sexual abuse by Catholic priests and other clergy in the Diocese of Scranton.  If you need a lawyer because you were sexually abused by a priest in Pennsylvania, contact our office today. Although many years have passed, those abused by Catholic clergy in the Diocese of Scranton now have legal options to recover damages due to a compensation fund created for victims.  Contact us at (954) 641-2100 or adam@adamhorowitzlaw.com today.