Abuse in Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown

Hundreds of children were sexually abused over at least 40 years by priests and other religious leaders in the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown, a statewide grand jury found. At least 50 priests or religious leaders were involved in the abuse, and diocesan leaders systematically concealed the abuse to protect the church’s image, according to a grand jury report released on March 1 by the attorney general of Pennsylvania, Kathleen Kane. Kane said that much of the evidence revealed in the report came from secret archives maintained by the diocese that were available only to the bishops who led the diocese over the decades. Victims also testified to the grand jury, which was convened by Kane in April 2014. Kane said the investigation was continuing. “This is a painful and difficult time in our diocesan church,” Bishop Mark. L. Bartchak of Altoona-Johnstown said in a statement. “I deeply regret any harm that has come to children, and I urge the faithful to join me in praying for all victims of abuse.”

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement
Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Jesus “is here in Lima, or wherever you are living, in the routine of your daily life and work.”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2018
People and cheered Pope Francis everywhere he went on this last day of his visit.
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 21, 2018
A boy presents a hat to Pope Francis upon his arrival at the international airport in Trujillo, Peru, Jan. 20. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Just as the apostles faced the storm on the sea, you had to face the brunt of ‘El Niño costero.’”
Gerard O’ConnellJanuary 20, 2018
Pope Francis greets the crowd before celebrating Mass at the Maquehue Airport near Temuco, Chile, Jan. 17. (CNS photo/Paul Haring)
“Pope Francis’ statements...were a source of great pain for survivors of sexual abuse,” Cardinal O’Malley said in a statement released Jan. 20.
Michael J. O’LoughlinJanuary 20, 2018