Fr. Bernard A. Flanagan (Diocese of Allentown)

Father Bernard A. Flanagan

Diocese of Allentown (Pennsylvania)

Ordained: 1982

Removed from ministry: September 2010

Assigned as follows:

  • 1982-1984        St. Anne (Bethlehem, PA)
  • 1984-1986        St. Paul (Reading, PA)
  • 1986-1987        St. Catherine of Siena (Reading, PA)
  • 1987-1988        St. Jerome (Tamaqua, PA)
  • 1988-1989        Whereabouts unknown for a period of time
  • 1990-1998        Nativity BVM High School (Pottsville, PA)
  • 1996           St. Mary (St. Clair, PA)
  • 1997-2003        Mary, Queen of Peace (Pottsville, PA)
  • 2003-2006        Our Lady Help of Christians (Allentown, PA)
  • 2006-2011        St. Mary Magdalen, Annunciation, St. George, Our Lady of Mount Carmel (all in Shenandoah)
  • 2011-2012        Whereabouts unknown for a period of time
  • 2012-2016        Unassigned

Summary of Abuse Allegations against Father Bernard Flanagan:

Media reports also indicate that Flanagan worked at Reading Central Catholic High School, but the Official Catholic Directory, which lists a priest’s formal assignment each year, does not list that particular assignment.  Notably, Flanagan is not listed in the 1989 or 2012 Official Catholic Directory, which means the Diocese of Allentown failed to provide any information on him for those years.  While we cannot say conclusively why he was not listed those years without additional information, in our experience, a diocese will either fail to list a priest who is on leave following allegations of misconduct, or give them a designation of “absent on leave” or “on sick leave.”

Flanagan was removed from ministry in September 2010, only after the Diocese Review Board concluded that an allegation received earlier was credible.  According to media reports, the victim reported that he was abused by Flanagan in the mid-1980s while he was a student at Reading Central Catholic High School.

Flanagan also appears on the list of accused priests published by the Diocese of Harrisburg.  According to the Diocese of Harrisburg, Flanagan was “used as a chaperone for an un-sanctioned international trip…attended by students of Bishop McDevitt High School,” though the Diocese of Harrisburg is not aware of any allegations that he abused any children on that trip.

According to a release by the Diocese of Allentown, it previously requested that the Vatican laicize (remove from the priesthood) Flanagan, but the Vatican determined that there was not evidence to support an involuntary laicization.  He remains a priest without assignment.

Flanagan is believed to be residing in the Allentown, Pennsylvania, area.  His current occupation is unknown.

Horowitz Law is a law firm representing victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg and throughout Pennsylvania.  The Diocese of Harrisburg filed for federal bankruptcy protection in February 2020. Anyone sexually abused by a priest or employee of the Diocese of Harrisburg may be entitled to file a claim against the Diocese in these bankruptcy proceedings, but very strict filing deadlines apply.  Most victims of abuse in the Diocese of Harrisburg will never be able to take action against the Diocese of Harrisburg if they miss this bankruptcy filing deadline, so it is important that you contact us immediately to discuss your potential case.   

Contact us at (888) 283-9922 or to discuss your legal options today.