Diocese Places Priest on Leave, Cities Sexual Misconduct
By Dave Sutor
June 28, 2019
The pastor of Prince of Peace Parish in Northern Cambria has been placed on leave from public ministry by Roman Catholic Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown Bishop Mark Bartchak.
The Rev. Donald W. Dusza, a 63-year-old Twin Rocks native, is not permitted to function as a priest while on leave. An administrator will be named for the parish.
“The action follows an accusation of sexual misconduct involving a young person,” the diocese stated in a press release. “The alleged incident dates back to the 1980s.”
A call was placed to the church for comment. A man, who did not give his name, declined to talk and suggested contacting a diocese spokesperson.
Dusza, ordained in 1983, was appointed Prince of Peace’s pastor in 2017 after serving at various parishes in the diocese. At the time of a 1995 article about Dusza in The Tribune-Democrat, he was parochial vicar at St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Johnstown, having recently completed a book titled “The Legacy of Prince Gallitzin: A History of the Altoona Johnstown Diocese.”
He had also been an Air Force chaplain, according to the story.
As of 7 p.m. on Thursday, he had not yet been added to the diocese’s website list of priests who have been put on leave as a result of having an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor made against them. There were eight priests on that list, along with 22 others who had credible allegations made and are either deceased, removed from public ministry, incarcerated or laicized.
Dusza was not mentioned in a 2016 grand jury report that provided information about priests being accused of sexually abusing children within the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese and alleged coverups by Bishops Joseph Adamec and James Hogan.