Parishioners defend priest in Greensburg diocese accused of sexually abusing minor


August 30, 2018

By Stephen Huba

Former and current parishioners of the Rev. Joseph E. Bonafed came to his defense Thursday, saying the public airing of sexual abuse allegations against him a day earlier amounted to a rush to judgment.

“This one I find really hard to believe,” said Chris DeCarlo-Parrendo of Murrysville. “This is just outrageous. He’s loved by so many.”

DeCarlo-Parrendo and her husband, John Parrendo, 57, are parishioners at St. Mary, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Export, where Bonafed was pastor from 2012-17.

Although she is a lector at St. Mary, DeCarlo-Parrendo and her husband regularly attend St. Edward Parish in Herminie to hear Bonafed preach. Bonafed was assigned to St. Edward and Holy Family Parish, West Newton, in July 2017.

“Never, at any point, have I ever gotten the feeling that he was anything other than a holy priest,” she said.

Bonafed was removed from both pastoral assignments Wednesday, a day after the Diocese of Greensburg received a “credible allegation” against him. The diocese would only say that the allegation involved sexual abuse of a minor 28 years ago.

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