Erie Bishops Defend Supervision of Priest Charged with Sexual Abuse

By Peter Smith
Pittsburgh Post-gazette
May 9, 2018

The Diocese of Erie’s past and present bishops are defending their supervision of a priest who was arrested Tuesday on charges of sexual abuse and who stayed in ministry for eight years after admitting his attraction to boys and to sending them sexually themed texts.

The statements came a day after the arrest of the Rev. David L. Poul­son of Oil City on charges of sexually abusing two boys between 2002 and 2010.

Both bishops sought to rebut Attorney General Josh Shapiro’s statement that “for years, the Diocese of Erie turned a blind eye to child abuse by Father David Poulson.”

Erie Bishop Emeritus Donald W. Trautman said in a written statement there “was no cover-up of sexual abuse.”

Current Bishop Lawrence Persico said it was the diocese itself, based on new information, that provided information to authorities in January 2018 that led to Father Poulson’s arrest.








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