Report Details Friars’ Abuse
By Russ O’Reilly
March 16, 2016
Brother Stephen Baker wasn't a diocesan priest but a Franciscan friar of a province in Hollidaysburg, and he wasn't the only friar of the province serving the Altoona-Johnstown Catholic diocese despite allegations of child molestation against them, the Office of the Attorney General revealed.
Baker's roommate at St. Bernardine's monastery on Catfish Road and several other friars of the Province of the Immaculate Conception in Hollidaysburg remained in ministry after allegations were levied against them, the grand jury report released Tuesday stated.
It is the second report issued in two weeks regarding a statewide grand jury investigation of the diocese.
The investigation of the diocese began in 2014 with allegations against Baker, a teacher and athletic trainer at Bishop McCort High School in Johnstown from 1992 to 2000. Allegations of abuse originate even earlier, when he was assigned to a diocese in Ohio.
And while there's no evidence that Bishop Joseph Adamec was aware of allegations against Baker, Attorney General Kathleen Kane said Tuesday that the diocese and leaders of the Franciscan province in Hollidaysburg communicated about other friars with allegations against them.