Service of atonement

Altoona Mirror

September 25, 2018

By Sean Sauro

Queen of Peace holds Mass in penance for sins of clergy abuse

A few dozen people kneeled in the dimly lit pews shortly after 6 p.m. Monday inside Queen of Peace Church, their hands clasped in prayer.

In the hour that followed, others would enter, and by 7 p.m., the church was filled with more than a hundred visitors and parishioners.

They were gathered for a Solemn High Mass held as penance for the sexual abuse of children at the hands of Catholic priests.

The Mass was held on the same day that victims of sexual abuse and their supporters marched on the Pennsylvania Capitol.

The rally, led by state Attorney General Josh Shapiro, preceded a speech by Gov. Tom Wolf, urging lawmakers to support legislation to better protect victims of sexual abuse, violence and harassment.

But before Wolf took to a podium, attendees in Harrisburg heard from Cambria County native Shaun Dougherty, who was abused by a priest as a child. His words were streamed by video to a state-owned website.

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