Erie Diocese Has Struggled with Clergy Sex Abuse for Years

Erie News Now
May 11, 2018

This week's arrest of a former Erie Catholic priest on sex abuse charges came only a month after the diocese released the names of 51 priests and lay people, living and deceased, who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse.

It is a problem the diocese has struggled with for years.

In 2002, then Bishop Donald Trautman was also dealing with the clergy sex scandal.

He asked then District Attorney Brad Foulk to review the files and documents.

Foulk said because of the statute of limitations, no accused priests could be prosecuted.

In another interview that year, Trautman said, "There is no one in ministry in the Diocese of Erie who has a pedophile background."

But Father David Poulson, the former priest arrested this week, was working as the pastor of St. Michael's Church in Fryburg at that time in 2002.

But at that time, Trautman made it clear he didn't think it was fair for so much attention to be focused on clergy sex abuse.

He said, "This is a problem in our culture, with married people, people of all walks of life. Let's look at the whole picture, not just zeroing in on one part."








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