Suspended Priest under Investigation, Did Not Serve at Altoona Hospital, Church

By Shawn Annarelli
Centre Daily Times
July 6, 2017

Bishop Mark Bartchak, right, of the Altoona-Johnstown Diocese, speaks at a news conference with Acting U.S. Attorney Soo Song to announce new measures to protect the children of the diocese from future sexual abuse and to provide better help for victims, including new reporting requirements and the creation of an independent oversight board. (Andrew Rush/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette via AP) Andrew Rush AP

Rev. Anthony J. Petracca was appointed to serve at UPMC Altoona, but the Diocese of Altoona-Johnstown has clarified that he has not been involved with the hospital.

Petracca allegedly committed “misconduct involving a minor” in the mid-1980s, according to the diocese. He was recently suspended by Rev. Mark L. Bartchak, bishop of the diocese, pending the results of an investigation. He was supposed to be UPMC Altoona’s chaplain and an administrator at Our Lady of Lourdes in Altoona, but did not begin the assignments.

Bartchak, according to the diocese, notified law enforcement of the allegations against Petracca.

“While on leave, Father 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,” the diocese said in a statement.

Monsignor Michael Becker will continue to serve at Our Lady of Lourdes.

“I want to once again stress my commitment to the safety and protection of all children in our diocese,” Bartchak said in a statement. “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.”









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