Sister Joan Scary said she got one clear instruction when the Rev. Edward M. DePaoli arrived at St. Gabriel Catholic Church in September 1995: Don’t ask questions.
Though she had been director of religious education at the Pottstown-area church since 1989, Scary told a Philadelphia jury Monday that St. Gabriel’s pastor, the Rev. James Gormley, warned her that if she talked about DePaoli, “I could pack my bags and leave.”
But Scary testified that she remembered that DePaoli had been arrested for something 10 years earlier and kept trying to find out what. Eight months later, Gormley angrily confronted her and reminded her about “spreading rumors about Father DePaoli… . He told me to get the hell out of here.”
What Scary learned was that DePaoli, a moral and ethics teacher in a local Catholic high school, had been arrested on child pornography charges in 1985, convicted, and sentenced to probation.