Fr. Robert J. Brague – Diocese of Scranton
Leave of Absence: 1979, 1988
Transfer to Diocese of Venice (Florida): 1990
Assigned as follows:
- St. Ann (Tobyhanna, PA)
- St. Peter (Wellsboro, PA)
- Ss. Peter and Paul (Towanda, PA)
- St. Maria Goretti (Laflin, PA)
- Pocono Central Catholic High School (Cresco, PA)
- St. John the Evangelist High SChool (PIttston, PA)
- Holy Cross (Palmetto, FL)
Summary of Abuse Allegations against Fr. Robert Brague:
In 1979, less than 10 years after he was ordained, Brague took a leave of absence from ministry in the Diocese of Scranton because he had serious doubts about his desire to continue in ministry as a Catholic priest. He returned to work in June 1980.
According to media reports, the Diocese of Scranton received information that Fr. Robert Brague was sexually abusing a girl from his parish. Brague later testified in a civil lawsuit against the Diocese of Scranton. He admitted that when she was 17 years old, in 1987, he initiated a sexual relationship with her. He originally denied the allegations when confronted by the Bishop of Scranton, and the abuse continued. Four months later, she became pregnant and he was forced to admit that he had sexually abused her. He was put on a second leave of absence in September 1988.
The Diocese first became aware of the situation when the girl’s sister wrote to then-Bishop James Timlin to outline the situation. He responded by saying that both Brague and his victim were to blame for the situation, not the Diocese, and that he expected that “certainly Fr. Brague will take care of his obligations.”
The child was born in April 1989. When he turned 6, the Diocese of Scranton arranged for him to be admitted, on full scholarship, to a Catholic grammar school.
Brague moved to Florida in 1990, where he continued to work as a priest. The victim’s lawsuit was settled in 1995, but his faculties were never restricted except that he was forbidden to work in the Diocese of Scranton again. Other than that, the Bishop of Scranton highly recommended Brague for work in the Diocese of Venice, Florida, in 1989.
Brague died in 1997. He was residing in the Naples, Florida, area at the time and continued to work as a priest in the Diocese of Venice (Florida) until his death.
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