Retired Diocese of Erie priest removed from ministry amid sexual abuse allegations

By Liana Daywalt
September 10, 2018

A priest who once served in the Diocese of Erie has been prohibited from all public ministry as well as any contact with minors after an allegation of sexual abuse of a minor.

According to a news release from the diocese, the allegations against 86-year-old Father Charles Schmitt dates back to the 1960s.

Bishop Lawrence Persico of Erie called the news disheartening saying in part, “this is a very difficult time for the Catholic Church, but we must face the truth. In collaboration with law enforcement, victims are finding their voice and helping us to ensure we are living out the principles we proclaim.”

Schmitt retired as pastor of St. Gabriel Parish in Port Allegany in 2006.

After that, he served as temporary administrator in Emporium in Cameron County, Tidioute in Warren County and Emlenton in Venango County.

This comes just weeks after a grand jury report was released revealing abuse within the Pennsylvania Catholic Church.

The Diocese of Erie encourages anyone who may have knowledge of or who has been affected by similar improprieties to call PA Child Line at 800-932-0313.


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