Abuse Allegations Prompts Diocese to Send Letter to North Catholic Alumni
By Lynne Hayes-Freeland
May 6, 2014
|(Photo Credit: KDKA Photojournalist Steve Willing)|
The doors to Bishop Donald Wuerl High School are slated to close at the end of this school year, but there is a cloud hanging over the former North Catholic High School.
First, there were allegations of sexual misconduct against a former teacher Bro. Bernard Robert Hartman, a member of the Marianists Order assigned to the school in 1961.
Now, the diocese has alerted some 9,000 former students about new allegations against several other former teachers.
“There were three brothers that were at North Catholic, beginning most of them in the ‘50s and the ‘60s,” said Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese spokesperson Fr. Ron Lengwin.
The letter reads in part: “While my letter of March 28, 2014, did not result in any additional allegations against Bro. Hartman, information concerning three other Marianists who served at North Catholic High School was brought to our attention. Those former staff members are Bro. William Charles Hildebrand, Bro. Francis Meder and Bro. Ralph August Mravintz.”
They are all now deceased, but taught at the school between 1951 and 1964. The diocese is aware of as many as six to seven victims.
“Single allegations, but what we know is often the case, there could be multiple sexual abuse that occurs,” said Fr. Lengwin.
The Diocese is also looking into allegations into another teacher during the same time period. Bro. John Keegan’s name surfaced on Monday.
The Allegheny County District Attorney has been notified of all the allegations.
“It was a different world, but it doesn’t make it any better,” said Fr. Lengwin. “Much like we say in the letter, we deeply regret the harm it’s done.”