Fr. Mark Balczeniuk – Diocese of Scranton
Leave of Absence: 2010
Laicized (dismissed from priesthood): 2011
Died: March 2018
Assigned as follows:
- November 1983 – Sept. 1984: St. Thomas (Archbald, PA)
- Sept. 1984 – Sept. 1985: Sts. Peter and Paul (Plains, PA)
- Sept. 1985 – July 1990: Holy Trinity (Swoyersville, PA)
- July 1990 – Sept. 1997: Maternity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
- Sept. 1997 – July 2006: Our Lady Help of Christians (Dorrance, PA)
- July 2006 – July 2009: Sts. Peter and Paul (Hazelton, PA); Transfiguration (West Hazleton, PA)
- July 2009 – March 2010: Episcopal Vicar of the Eastern Pastoral Region of the Diocese of Scranton
- March 2010: Leave of Absence
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Fr. Mark Balczeniuk:
In March 2010, Balczeniuk called the Diocese of Scranton chancery to make a self-report of misconduct. He told the Vicar for Priests, Fr. Richard Loch, that he spent the night at the home of a family he knew well (though it is not clear if they were parishioners of the Diocese of Scranton or not). According to the grand jury’s summary of the incident, while at the home, he kissed and hugged the family’s son, whom he estimated was in his 20s. Balczeniuk described the boy as having mental difficulties and being “a little slow.” Balczeniuk told Loch that he took it upon himself to report the incident because the father was very upset and planned to report it to the Diocese of Scranton himself. That same day, the father did contact the Diocese of Scranton. He stated that Balczeniuk had kissed his 18 year old stepson on the mouth, embraced him, and then rubbed the boy’s back under his shirt.
Balczeniuk was removed from ministry and sent for a psychological evaluation at Villa St. John Vianney, a notorious treatment facility for pedophile priests used by Pennsylvania bishops in similar cases for decades.
Though it is not entirely clear from the grand jury report, Balczeniuk later told Loch that he touched the genitals of several underaged boys while he was working at Camp St. Andrew in Wyoming County, Pennsylvania. He was still a seminarian, which would put the conduct in the late 1970s or early 1980s.
He was laicized by the Vatican in 2011.
Balczeniuk relocated to the Daytona Beach, Florida, area, where he worked as a bereavement counsel at a local hospice. He died in March 2018. His obituary does not mention his tenure as a 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 firstname.lastname@example.org today.