Diocese places priest on leave for alleged misconduct involving minor in mid-1980s
By Ron Musselman
July 5, 2017
|A priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown was placed on leave from public ministry Wednesday.|
HOLLIDAYSBURG -- A priest in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown was placed on leave from public ministry Wednesday.
Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, bishop of the diocese, said in a release that Rev. Anthony J. Petracca has been placed on leave from public ministry.
The action comes after an accusation of misconduct involving a minor that allegedly occurred in the mid-1980s.
Bartchak has notified law enforcement of the accusation against Petracca. While on leave, Petracca will not be permitted to function as a priest, and he will reside at a place where he will not have contact with children.
Petracca, 61, is a native of Darby, Pennsylvania. He was ordained a priest of the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown in 1985 and has served as parochial vicar at numerous parishes. Recently, he was appointed administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Altoona and Chaplain at UPMC Altoona.
Monsignor Michael Becker, who had been serving as administrator of Our Lady of Lourdes for the past several months, will continue to serve in that role and continue as pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Altoona.
“I want to once again stress my commitment to the safety and protection of all children in our diocese,” Bartchak said. “Please know that I am taking all necessary steps to ensure the well-being of our youth, and I ask the faithful to join me in praying for all those affected by this case."
The Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown urges anyone with information about misconduct involving children to report it to law enforcement immediately.