Another Pa. Catholic college removes name of bishop called out by grand jury

The J. Carroll McCormick Campus Ministry Center at King's College (Google map)

The J. Carroll McCormick Campus Ministry Center at King's College (Google map)

Two more Pennsylvania Catholic colleges are considering renaming buildings that honor bishops mentioned in the grand jury report on child sexual abuse in the church released last week.

King’s College and Misericordia University, both in the Scranton area, have buildings named after J. Carroll McCormick. His name is on King’s ministry center and, at Misericordia, a science building.

Three bishops in the Diocese of Scranton — McCormick, James. C. Timlin, and Jerome D. Hannan — failed to appropriately handle child sexual abuse cases and hid reports about predatory priests, according to the grand jury.

King’s College took down McCormick’s name from the ministry center Wednesday. And college officials are in the process of rescinding degrees and honors given to McCormick and Timlin.

The university response follows Bishop Joseph Bambera’s edict that “child sexual abuse cannot be tolerated and must be eradicated,” according to a King’s statement.

Misericordia officials, who have not made any official moves yet, released a statement saying the institution is discussing what to do next.

“As a Catholic and Sisters of Mercy institution, our greatest concern is for the victims and families in the grand jury case and any others who have suffered abuse,” Misericordia University President  Thomas J. Botzman said. “Our leadership team began a methodical and thoughtful review of facilities, honorary designations, degrees and awards after the grand jury report was made public. I am recommending actions to the board of trustees to address honorary designations related to the bishop.”

The University of Scranton has already started the process of removing names from buildings.

It plans to rename McCormick Hall after St. Mary of the Cross MacKillop, a nun who in the 19th century exposed a priest for sexually abusing a boy. Other buildings at the college in for a name change include Timlin House, a townhouse unit on campus, and Hannan Hall, a dormitory.

And DeSales University’s board of trustees may consider renaming facilities honoring Allentown bishops included in the report — the McShea Student Union, the campus events center, and the Bishop Welsh Resident Hall.

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