Diocese Spokesman Addresses Concerns

By Lauren Handley
We Are Central
March 11, 2016

Hollidaysburg, Blair County, Pa.

It has been almost two weeks since the disturbing discovery within the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese. Since then, we've heard from victims and state officials.

Now, the Diocese spokesman is addressing concerns.

"Every time he has received allegation involving a priest he has acted swiftly and he will continue to do that. That's all he can focus on now. He can't rewrite what happened on the past."

What does "moving forward" mean?

The plan is to report any new allegations directly to law enforcement, remove those priests, and then post a detailed list of perpetrators to the diocese website, which they said will happen soon.

"There aren't words that I could say to express the sorrow that we all feel for anyone who's been harmed in this church," DeGol said.

He said the Bishop's news conference last week was just the first step in the process.

On the first Sunday Mass after the grand jury report came out, Diocesan priests made a similar address.

"Everyone is affected by this and that includes our priests and they obviously have a lot of the feelings that the faithful in the pews have," DeGol said. "A lot of questions, concerns, hurt, shame, anger. You name it. They have it."

Victim advocates with the SNAP organization aren't buying it, but DeGol said that's not what he's hearing from parishioners.

"A lot of the responses were positive. They felt that it was important for the Bishop to reach out and encourage all the priests to read that letter at mass. They were some who maybe said that they wanted to see more."

He said this is just the beginning of moving forward.

"Mercy does not mean that we just simply forgive and forget. But that mercy will indeed be very critical as we try to heal as a diocese and as we try to make sure that all children are protected."

To their knowledge, there aren't any priests still in ministry with allegations.

"In everything we do in life there are trials, there are crosses to bear, and this is certainly one of them for our diocese."

When asked about what will happen with Bishop Adamec, DeGol reiterated that Adamec would not be leading Mass at St. Mary's in Hollidaysburg. He then referred WTAJ to Adamec's attorney.









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