Priest Suspended for Child Sexual Abuse; SNAP Responds
May 19, 2014
A Pennsylvania priest has been suspended after child sexual abuse allegations surfaced. We are glad action has been taken and law enforcement has been notified, but we are worried there might be other victims suffering in silence and self-blame.
We also worry that Catholic officials may have kept these allegations quiet for weeks or months before disclosing it. The church hierarchy almost always discloses when the abuse allegedly happened but almost never discloses when they got the abuse report. Catholics deserve to know this.
Fr. Michael Lewandowski (who has been at St. Anne Parish in Davidsville since 1997) is accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in the 1980s. The allegation was reported to the Altoona- Johnston diocese from the Franciscan Order that Lewandowski is a member of.
Bishop Mark Bartchak and officials from the Franciscan Order should visit every parish Lewandowski worked and post Lewandowski’s work history and photo on the dioceses website and parish bulletins. Children are kept safe when suspicions about predators are reported immediately.
We hope anyone who saw, suspects or suffered child sexual about by Lewandowski or any other church officials will call police, get help and start healing.