Report: Priests abused hundreds of kids in Altoona-Johnstown Diocese


Pa. (CNS) — 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.

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 March 1 by Attorney General Kathleen
G. Kane.

report identifies priests and other leaders by name and details incidents going
back to the 1970s. Kane said that much of the evidence revealed in the report
came from secret archives maintained by the diocese that was only available to
the bishops who led the diocese over the decades.

also testified to the grand jury, which was convened by Kane in early 2014
after local law enforcement officials and district attorneys of several
counties approached her office with information about the abuse.

said during a 75-minute press briefing that the investigation was continuing.
She said that the actions of law enforcement also are part of the investigation.

have had evidence of law enforcement perhaps looking the other way, law enforcement
working with the diocese to let the priests move on, retire or go to a psychiatric
facility in lieu of charges,” she said.


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