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3 Pittsburgh Priests On Leave Following Sex Abuse Allegations

August 31, 2018 - 4:07 pm
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PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) — The Pittsburgh Catholic Diocese announced Friday that three priests have been placed on administrative leave following allegations of sexual abuse of a minor received in the wake of the Grand Jury report on six Pennsylvania dioceses.

The diocese says the allegations have been reported to law enforcement in a release. Rev. John Bauer is active and the other two, Rev. Bernard Costello and Rev. Hugh Lang, are retired.

Priests on administrative leave may not engage in public ministry, dress as priests or otherwise present themselves as priests in good standing. If the allegations are deemed unsubstantiated following an investigation, their faculties for ministry will be restored.

All three accused deny the allegations.

The three priests are:

●  The Rev. John Bauer, 71, who has been serving in team ministry at the Greene County parishes of St. Ann in Waynesburg, St. Hugh in Carmichaels, St. Ignatius of Antioch in Bobtown, Our Lady of Consolation in Nemacolin and St. Thomas in Clarksville. He is accused of sexual abuse of a minor in the early 1980s. This allegation was received on August 30, 2018. The Grand Jury report included an earlier allegation of other misconduct against Father Bauer that was not substantiated as child sexual abuse because the accuser stated that Father Bauer did not sexually abuse him. Father Bauer was therefore in ministry until this new allegation was received.

●  The Rev. Bernard Costello, 81, who completed his last assignment in 2011 as temporary administrator at Mary, Mother of the Church parish in Charleroi. He is accused of sexually abusing a minor in the mid- 1960s. This allegation, which the Diocese of Pittsburgh received on August 22, 2018, is the first allegation that the diocese has received against Father Costello.

●  The Rev. Hugh Lang, 87, who retired in 2006 as pastor of St. Therese of Lisieux in Munhall. He is accused of sexually abusing a minor in 2001. This allegation, which the Diocese of Pittsburgh received on August 27, 2018, is the first allegation that the diocese has received against Father Lang.

Bishop David Zubik will send letters to all parishes the priests have served.

The diocese urges anyone who has been harmed by someone representing the Church to contact the Diocesan Assistance Coordinator at 1-888-808-1235 or the Pennsylvania state abuse hotline at 1-800-932-0313.

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