Father Thomas Shoback
Diocese of Scranton
Leave of Absence: Nov. 2011
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 Sexual Allegations against Father Thomas Shoback:
Father Thomas Shoback was ordained a priest in 1977, who served in multiple parishes in the Diocese of Scranton. According to media reports, 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 2018 PA 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.
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 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 appeared 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.
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