Father Michael Pulicare
Diocese of Scranton
Sick Leave: 1999
Assigned as follows:
- 1971: Saint Ann (Shohola, PA)
- 1971: Most Precious Blood (Hazelton, PA)
- 1974: Saint Anthony of Padua Bishop and O’Hara High School (Dunmore, PA)
- 1975: Saint Matthew (East Stroudsburg, PA)
- 1975: Saint Joseph (Scranton, PA)
- 1975: Chaplain of the Forest Lakes Council of Boy Scouts
- 1985: Saint Mary Czestochowa (Eynon, PA)
- 1985: Saint Mary’s Assumption (Jessup, PA)
- 1989: Our Lady of Mount Carmel (Carbondale, PA)
- 1996: Saint John the Evangelist (Susquehanna, PA)
- 1999: Sick Leave
Summary of Sexual Abuse Allegations against Father Michael Pulicare:
Father Michael Pulicare is an accused priest whose name was not disclosed on the Diocese of Scranton’s August 2018 list of credibly accused priests. He was also not discussed in the grand jury report of the same month.
In September 2018, the Wall Street Journal featured a story about a man, J.P., who alleged he was sexually abused by Pulicare at St. Joseph in Scranton during the mid-1970s. He was about 12 years old and says that Pulicare took a “special interest” in him because he knew the boy didn’t have the most stable home life. The incident occurred on a fishing trip at Pulicare’s parents’ house. He was forced to share a bed with the priest, who abused him during the night. Before bringing the boy home, J.P. says that Pulicare threatened him that “God would take [his] parents away.”
There have been other allegations made involving Pulicare during that same time period.
In response to the September 2018 article, the Diocese of Scranton stated only that Pulicare has no “credible” allegations against him. That may mean that he has been accused by others of abuse, but the Diocese’s internal review board did not deem the allegation(s) credible. It could also mean that no one has ever approached the Diocese with an allegation of abuse involving Fr. Pulicare. The Diocese of Scranton’s statement seemed to raise more questions than it answered.
In August 2019, Pulicare was named in a lawsuit filed against the Diocese of Scranton by four men who say they were abused by him at St. Joseph in Minooka, as well as at the Cathedral while now-Bishop Timlin was also assigned there.
Most recently, in July 2020, two new lawsuits were filed in Lackawanna County court against the Diocese of Scranton, accusing the diocese of covering up a history of sexual abuse by Fr. Pulicare.
The lawsuits were filed pseudonymously to keep the identities of the alleged victims private. Both victims claim to have been sexually abused by Fr. Pulicare in the 1970s. They state the abuse occurred in a bedroom at Pulicare’s parents’ home on an overnight trip at the age of 12. One of the victims also says he was assaulted on separate occasions, both in Pulicare’s parents’ home and in the rectory of St. Anthony of Padula Parish in Dunmore.
The Diocese of Scranton has since quietly added Pulicare’s name to its list of priests that it says have been credibly accused of sexual abuse. According to the Diocese’s disclosure, Pulicare went on a leave of absence from ministry “for reasons of health” in February 1999.
Pulicare later died in 1999. He was a priest in good standing at the time of his death.
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