Spotlight on Abuse: Episcopal Priest Joseph L. De Acetis

By | April 10, 2022

Episcopal priest Joseph L. De Acetis was disciplined in the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem in 2012 for physical assault and failure to follow mandatory reporting laws at Christ Episcopal Church in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania during 1997 and 1998 incidents surrounding organist Kenneth Bernard Schade when a minor parishioner complained about Schade’s abusive behavior. De Acetis was alleged to have held the minor parishioner on the floor of the sacristy while he and his wife, former nun Joan Bosch De Acetis, prayed over the crying child in tongues “to expel the demon that was causing him to make allegations against the organist.” De Acetis admitted the attempted exorcism in 2012 but denied ever having heard of mandated reporting requirements for clergy in Pennsylvania. The organist subsequently pleaded guilty in 2014 to underage sexual assault and more than 1,100 counts of child pornography possession. A Roman Catholic priest received into the Episcopal Diocese of Bethlehem in June 1997, DeAcetis also served at St. Mary’s Episcopal Church in Wind Gap, St. Mark and St. John’s Episcopal Church in Jim Thorpe, Pennsylvania, St. John’s, Ashland (the North Parish), and in diocesan youth work.

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