The University of Scranton, a Jesuit university in Pennsylvania, is removing the names of three bishops from school buildings in response to an ongoing sexual abuse investigation involving several Catholic leadership figures from the state.
They are scrubbing the names of Bishops Jerome D. Hannan, J. Carroll McCormick, and James C. Timlin from campus buildings, and will also be rescinding the bishops’ honorary degrees.
Hannan, McCormick and Timlin were named in a stunning grand jury report detailing the coverup of credible sexual abuse accusations against more than 300 state priests and encompassing more than 1,000 child victims. According to the University, “these Bishops covered up the crimes and misdeeds of men who were under their jurisdiction and placed children in harm’s way.”
In a statement addressed to the community, the University said it made the choice “with sympathy for and in solidarity with victims of sexual abuse in the Diocese of Scranton.”
Their names will be replaced by the names of religious leaders who fought against oppression and abuse, as well as two alums:
- Saint Mary of the Cross MacKillop, who according to the school “publicly exposed the sexual abuse of children by a priest”
- Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, who was murdered while preaching in 1980
- Brendan J. Giblin and William H. Kelly Jr., two late graduates of the school.
A Jesuit university is a university run by the Jesuits, an order of Catholic priests.
Georgetown University, Loyola University and Gonzaga University are all Jesuit schools.